A prominent feature at a typical Setswana wedding is the traditional non-alcoholic, Botswana’s ginger beer better known as Gemere. You haven’t really experienced a special occasion unless it included a glass of gemere. in fact, Gemere is popular as an affordable, tasty part of most traditional events like weddings, celebrations, anniversaries, funerals and even for children at school prize-giving and graduations.
This delicious drink is fantastic on a Botswana hot day, served ice cold, and is really is made from all natural ingredients. The best version has the swollen juicy raisins, or more popularly, chunks of pineaapple, adding to the experience.
Easy to make Gemere
To personalise your flavour you can add a variety of fruits such as pineapples, strawberries, apples or a handful of fresh berries. The most common addition is raisins which swell up as it ferments and give a nice juicy bite to the drink.
7 L boiling water
4 tablespoons (45ml) ground ginger
4 dried ginger sticks
2 teaspoons (10ml) instant dried yeast
1 packet tartaric acid
1 packet cream of tartar
2 handfuls of raisins if chosen
1 queen pineapple, peeled and diced
1. Add the sugar to the boiling water in a large bowl and stir until it is all dissolved.
2. Then add the ground and cut up ginger sticks. Simmer for about 30 minutes and set aside to cool.
3. When cool, add all the remaining ingredients including any fruit you have chosen.
4. Cover tightly and store it in a warm place for at least 2 days to ferment. In the summer, it will only need one day.
5. Put in the freezer for a few hours or fridge overnight and serve as required.