Ginger beer is a specialty drink made from the natural fermentation of ginger root, yeast, and sugar. It’s origin isn’t quite known, but has been traced back partially to the Caribbean and Oriental countries of days past. This spicy and fizzy drink is used by many as a means to naturally settle indigestion and heart burn, but is also a useful tool in the kitchen. One of our favorite recipes is the Sweet & Spicy Ginger Beer Chicken which can be prepared conveniently in slow cookers. Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at just what ginger beer is and how it’s zesty flavors help to spice up any recipe—especially slow cooker recipes!
What is Ginger Beer?
Ginger beer is similar to such drinks as beer, kombucha, kvass, or even kefir in that it is a brewed in a process of natural fermentation. This allows a culture of living organisms such as Lactobacillus (good for the tummy) to grow and create a unique range of flavors. These types of drinks have become known largely as Functional Beverages because they are popular among those working to support their natural digestive health! As they relate to our Sweet & Spicy chicken recipe however, ginger beer is able to provide a highly-acidic (think vinegar) solution that is also infused with rich ginger flavoring. This delicious concoction is great for helping to tenderize meats, as well as shuttle in the full range of ingredient flavors. If you’re like us, you won’t likely have the time or instant know-how needed to brew your own ginger beer at home, so we’ll need to cover some of the best ginger beer brands. It’s important to get actual ginger beer, and not just something marketed as such.
Best Ginger Beer Brands
Ginger beer isn’t to be confused with ginger ale. When concerning these two; the ginger beer vs. ginger ale difference can be noted as being defined by an actual fermentation process. That’s to say, ginger ale is just a ginger-flavored drink—while ginger beer is a rich, dynamic, functional beverage! Below are some of the best-selling ginger beer drinks on the market. If you live near a specialty beer and wine shop or a whole foods, you might have some luck finding these there. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to order some off Amazon. The good news is, they aren’t very expensive and come in packs of multiples so you’ll have some for future recipes as well! Below are the best ginger beer brands and their respective ginger beer products.
While these aren’t the only ginger beers on the market, they are certainly some of the best! As mentioned, if you are located near a specialty wine or beer store it’s probably work your time to go check there first. If they carry ginger beers, they’re likely to have at least one of these. If not, there’s a strong change they’ll have another true ginger beer option. Just remember—make sure it’s an actual fermented ginger drink and not just a flavored soda (ginger ale). The fermented beverage contains a blend of powerful and tenderizing compounds that won’t be found in imitation products.
Sweet & Spicy Ginger Beer Chicken Recipe
Now that we’ve gotten a handle on what ginger beer is, how to choose the best brand, and where to get some; the Sweet & Spicy Ginger Beer Chicken Recipe will be a breeze! The general vibe of this recipe is of a savory Caribbean-infused Southern Dish with some subtle high notes and spicy background flavors. This dish is a fine example of how using Ginger Beer within the realm of slow cooker recipes can help to provide a unique flavoring. There are many cases in which we’ve heard marinating meats in strongly acidic compounds such as vinegar—or even Coca Cola—is recommended. Using the Ginger Beer in slow cookers is similar to this in thought—though greatly re-imagined for the sake of convenience. Below is one of our favorite Ginger Beer slow cooker recipes, complete with the needed ingredients and cooking instructions.
Ginger beer is a delicious beverage that often has it’s culinary value overlooked. It’s acidic nature, and zesty flavoring are ideal compliments to slow cookers and fatty meats of many types. It can be used for marinades, dressings, and even impromptu tenderizer. Our favorite slow cooker recipe for ginger beer is the Sweet & Spicy Ginger Beer Chicken. Having a quality source of ginger beer is important, as is having a quality slow cooker. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely got a pretty good idea of the best ginger beer brands on the market—but may still be unsure about slow cookers. Our favorite slow cooker is the Breville Fast-Slow Pro, and we always recommend it to our readers. However, it’s a bit on the expensive side, and has a few features that aren’t always needed. To get a full list of electric slow cookers suitable for ginger beer recipes, check out our slow cooker buyer’s guide. Slow cookers and crock pots are great allies to those of us with demanding schedules. Piling everything in and switching on the heat, allowing yourself to be greeted with dinner when you get home, is an amazing convenience. Ingredients like Ginger Beer offer a great way to keep these convenient recipes exciting time and time again.