Victorian Recipes – Avis Crocombe’s Ginger Beer (c.1881)

Original Text

1 ¼ lump sugar 3 ½ oz ginger well pounded. The peel of 1 lemon cut very thin. Put them into a pitcher then add eleven pints of boiling water. Stir the whole then cover it up – when cooled till only milk warm put 2 spoonful of yeast on a piece of toast hot from the fire add the juice of the lemon – let it work for 12 hours. Strain into a muslin and bottle it – it will be fit to drink in 4 days.


10 oz white sugar

scant ½ oz ground ginger

peel and juice of ½ a lemon

5 ½ pts boiling water

small slice of bread

1 tsp of fresh yeast (or dried yeast, make into a paste)


Put the sugar, ginger and lemon peel into a large, heat proof container (you can use a bucket). Pour on the boiling water and stir well. Leave until lukewarm, and then toast the bread. Spread it with the yeast and pop it into the ginger mix along with the lemon juice. Stir briefly and leave overnight. Strain several times through muslin and bottle. Leave for 4 days before drinking.

The entry in Mrs Crocombe’s book notes that this recipe was copied from ‘The Field’ newspaper, courtesy of Lady Braybrook (her employer) – a tantalizing glimpse at employer-employee relations at this time.

Source – English Heritage


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