Berries, Ginger & Sage – Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Beverage

berry ginger and sage drinkYou gotta love summer baby! How does a nice refreshing drink sound? Well here is a recipe that will quench your thirst for sure. The combination of berries, ginger & sage together, is going to rock your world.

top view berry drink

How did this berries, ginger & sage recipe come about?

A few years ago I was making up a batch of water kefir and used a recipe to flavor it and further ferment it. Water kefir is a fermented probiotic drink, that has a ton of nutritional properties to it. The recipe included mixed berries and sage. Wow, I loved the stuff. The flavor was mild and intriguing with a hint of sage. I had never tasted anything like it.

dried sageWho would have thought of putting “sage” in a beverage? I am a big fan of sage and have grown it in my garden for years. The smell of sage is one of my favorites, next to rosemary. I never really used it much, sometimes for tea or adding to a meat dish, but now………I have found the perfect use!

So back to the recipe. A few months ago I taught an herb class at  my home and wanted to serve a delicious beverage that included an herb. I have a recipe for lavender punch, but wanted something different. Bam, I remembered the flavored water kefir I had made with the sage. That would have been great to serve, but it takes several days to ferment, and I didn’t have the time.

I had an idea. Water kefir, when processed, has a fizziness to it like soda pop. So the thought came to add the syrup to some ginger ale. That is what I did, and it worked out fabulous. It worked in a pinch, but I don’t like to consume high fructose corn syrup.

high fructose corn syrypWhat’s so bad about High fructose corn syrup?

This form of sugar is one thing I avoid at all costs if I can. One of my favorite mentors,Robyn Openshaw (Green Smoothie Girl), explains why high fructose corn syrup is so bad.

Corn Syrup: Nearly all corn is genetically modified, but that’s not even the most important reason to avoid corn syrup. It’s highly-refined concentrated fructose that inflames and ages your cells, erodes your gut lining, and is highly acid-forming. It easily overwhelms the liver’s ability to get rid of it, so it gets stored as fat. That’s why high-fructose corn syrup is linked to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, candida, diabetes, heart disease, and food addictions. Not only do I academically know too much about its detrimental effect on health, but it sends my lifelong anxiety, completely under control on whole foods, into instantaneous orbit. Please don’t ever eat it.

This stuff is in a lot of processed foods, so pay attention. Something to think about ey?

I knew there would be a way to still get the goodness of the berry drink without the soda. So I spent some time tweaking the recipe until I came up with something wonderful. Adding fresh ginger gives it the zing of ginger ale.

I am going to share with you several versions, and let you choose which way you want to make it.

  • Using sugar and water
  • Mixing with Ginger Ale
  • Making flavored water kefir

Now for the recipes.

Ingredients

berries ginger and sage

Using Water & Sugar

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen berries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tablespoons dried sage or 2/3 cup packed fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar to your liking, or 1/2 tsp S tevia (I prefer regular sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin

Mixing With Ginger Ale 

This isn’t the end of the world if you choose to use the soda pop. It does taste really good, and is quick if you are in a pinch for time.

  • Same as above except DO NOT ADD ANY SUGAR or GINGER!

The sweetness and ginger flavor, will come from the ginger ale.

to make flavored water kefir

For those of you who make your own water kifir or want to flavor already made kefir you can use this method.

  • Prepare the syrup using the sugar method. DO NOT STRAIN !
  • Let the syrup cool completely.
  • Add syrup to 8 cups already prepared water kefir.
  • Pour liquid (including berry pulp) into selable bottles.
  • Seal the bottles and leave them at room temperature, the fizzier the soda will get, so be careful to not leave the bottles for too long or else they will fizz over when opened.
  • Before drinking, strain out the berry pulp with a fine strainer.

For more information on kefir making, this is a good resource.

frozen berriesYou can use either fresh or frozen berries. Since my strawberries have already come and gone and my raspberry patch this year is a total mess, these frozen berries from Costco work great.

Add all ingredients to sauce pan

Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Using a fine mesh strainer, strain cooked mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes to make sure you are getting all the liquid out.

You will end up with approximately 1 cup of syrup.

Add the syrup to 6-8 cups of water depending how strong you want it. Start with 6 cups, and if you think you could stand it a little weaker, add more water. I prefer it to be a little on the weak side, using 8 cups of water. The flavor will intensify a bit after cooling a bit.

Mix well and chill before serving.

 

Berries, Sage & Ginger Non-Alcoholic Beverage
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 

A yummy, refreshing beverage. Berries, ginger and a hint of sage makes this drink delicious and satisfying.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 7
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen berries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tablespoons dried sage or 2/3 cup packed fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar to your liking or 1/2 tsp stevia (I prefer regular sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to sauce pan
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain cooked mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes to make sure you are getting all the liquid out.
  4. You will end up with approximately 1 cup of syrup.
  5. Add the syrup to 6-8 cups of water depending how strong you want it. Start with 6 cups, and if you think you could stand it a little weaker, add more water. I prefer it to be a little on the weak side, using 8 cups of water. The flavor will intensify a bit after cooling a bit.
  6. Mix well and chill before serving.
  7. Serve over crushed ice and a sprig of sage.
Recipe Notes

You can use either fresh or frozen berries. Since my strawberries have already come and gone and my raspberry patch this year is a total mess, these frozen berries from Costco work great.

Serve over crushed ice and a sprig of sage.

Yummy, Yum!!!!

Serve this berries, ginger & sage drink at parties, luncheons, or with a handful of popcorn in front of a good movie.

Enjoy!

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