Homemade ginger wine is a light and refreshing drink for celebrations or regular days in. Using ginger root we make this spicy wine in 2 weeks and add a few optional ingredients for different flavors.
As an East Indian, making wine at home is a skill handed down from generation to generation. Using old ceramic jars that we call barnis, the ginger wine is made through a simple but regular process of stirring and straining over a two week period. The wine can be made in a shorter time frame, say 3 to 5 days. But to get the extra kick, we let it ferment longer.
Also, we don’t use citric acid, or campden tablets, or acid blends, or hydrometers or any other modern equipment. The wine tastes a lot better when it’s made the way our ancestors did, maybe even the way people in Jesus time did. Natural homemade ginger wine! Or not, maybe he just has natural grape or raisin wine. 😉
This ginger wine is a version of the East Indian wine that I’ve modified to lessen the sugar while maintaining the strength.
What do you need to make ginger wine at home?
Ginger root of course! And some sultanas or raisins, yeast, lemon juice, sugar and water. We also add optional flavors at different times – lemon skins, orange zest, or dried chillies.
EQUIPMENT YOU MIGHT NEED TO USE
Steps to Make Homemade Ginger Wine
Please make sure it is legal to make homemade wine in your city or state before you try out this recipe.
Start by sterilizing your equipment – ceramic jars, demijohns, wooden spoons, etc – by washing them with boiling hot water.
Next, wash and clean the ginger. Then bruise it well with a pestle and add it to the demijohn or ceramic jar along with the lemon juice.
Cover the ginger with your sugar and raisins / sultanas. It doesn’t make a difference if you use raisins or sultanas. Both are good yeast nutrients and help you make a stronger wine. The only difference will be in the color of the wine you make. You’ll find a pic later in the post where we’ve made wine using only sultanas. It’s a darkish brown. But if you use raisins you’ll end up with a bottle of clear sparkling ginger wine. You can also skip the raisins or sultanas altogether, but then you’d have a wine that’s only about 3% to 5% strong.
Next, set aside about 100 ml of water to proof the yeast. Top up the ceramic jar with the rest of the water to make 4.4 litres. Proof the yeast with the 100 ml of lukewarm water add it to the barni (ceramic jar).
Alternatively, if you’re sure the yeast is active, you can just top up the jar to 4.5 litres of water and throw in the yeast. There’s no need to proof it. I’ve found that SAF Levure and DCL yeast are those type of yeast, so I use these quite often.
Use a wooden spoon, stainless steel spoon, or food grade plastic spoon to stir the must every day for the first week.
In this version, we used lemon skins for a light fruity flavor. At other times, we’ve used orange skins or dried kashmiri chillies. You can see that on the second day the must was fizzing wildly. I had taken a video to share, but all I could hear in it was the family talking about mustard chicken in the background. So no sharing this time. I’ll try to make another video the next time we make a batch of wine.
After stirring the wine for 7 days, leave it alone for 7 more days. Then strain the wine through a muslin cloth and bottle the wine. Wait for a few weeks before you drink the wine. If you can’t wait, the wine is perfectly good to drink immediately too! Go ahead and have a taste!
This pic above is of the ginger wine we made using only sultanas. You can see the earthy brown color.
The pics below are of the ginger wine we made using raisins that was racked for a few weeks using a quarter teaspoon of baking soda. The clarity is amazing. Doesn’t my sister‘s black and white picture below it look amazing?
Tips and Tricks to Make Ginger Wine
- Use sultanas if you want a reddish wine, use raisins if you want a clear wine.
- You can use Indian yeast brands such as Blue Bird or Crown, but I prefer using stronger yeast such as the French Saf Levure or DCL Yeast.
- If using wine yeast, 1 sachet (7 g) of wine yeast should be enough. Just follow the instructions on the packet.
- Add lemon skins or orange skins for a light fruity flavor. If you want wine with a spicy kick, use dried kashmiri chillies.
- Rerack the wine after 2 weeks or a month to remove the dregs. That means, change bottles and get rid of that stuff that settles at the bottom.
- The longer you leave the wine to rest after making it, the better it tastes.
- In case you want to give it a go, our reader Lynn tried the recipe using organic ginger juice and says it turned out pretty good too! (Just make sure there are no additives in the juice.)
Things You Can Do With Ginger Wine In Summer
- You can use this wine to make ginger wine soda with a number of additions.
- Or you can make a ginger lemon spritzer or a ginger wine lime and mint spritzer.
Bonus Tip: Because I’ve had some questions about making the wine last minute and making it faster for Christmas and other family dinners. If you’re in a hurry and wish the wine was ready quicker for a celebration or dinner or even for Christmas, here’s what you can do. Follow all the steps till day 7. On day 7, kill all the yeast and stop the fermentation process. Do this by adding a tsp of baking soda to the entire batch and leaving it alone. The next morning, bottle the wine and it’s ready to serve. It won’t reach the 8% to 15% that we usually do, but it will reach a decent 4% to 8% and everyone will still love it!
Questions about making your own Ginger Wine
Can we use any other fruits instead of ginger?
Yes, you can use any other fruits, but you’ll need to double the amount. So for 500 grams of ginger, use 1 kg of pineapple or strawberries or any other fruit.
Can we skip the raisins and sultanas?
Yes, you can skip the raisins and sultanas, but the alcohol content of the wine might be a few % weaker than this one.
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Spicy Homemade Ginger Wine
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- 500 g Sultanas or Raisins (See notes.)
- 500 g Ginger Bruised
- 1.5 kg Sugar
- 15 g Active Dry Yeast 15 g of any regular active dried baking yeast. Or 1 sachet (7 g) wine yeast. See notes.
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 4.5 l Water
- 1 Lemon Skin or
- 2 Orange Skins or
- 2 Dried Red Chillies
Prepare Your Equipment
- Sterilize your jars, buckets or demijohns and spoons by washing with boiling water.
Prepare the Ginger
- Wash and clean the ginger as needed.
- Bruise the ginger with a pestle and set aside.
Proof The Yeast
- Warm about 100 ml of water and stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar. (Deduct this amount of sugar out of your main sugar.)
- Add in the yeast and leave it aside for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, the yeast will be bubbling wildly and is ready to add to your wine bucket or ceramic jar.
- ((This step of proofing the yeast is not necessary. If you're certain the yeast is active, you can just throw the yeast into the must after adding all the ingredients for the wine must.))
Prepare The Wine Must
- While the yeast is proofing, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a ceramic jar or demijohn, take the sugar, bruised ginger, lemon juice, and sultanas (or raisins). (Both raisins and sultanas do the same work of feeding nutrients to the wine, si it doesn't matter which you use.)
- Add the remaining 4.4 litres of water into this ceramic jar or or wine bucket and stir all the ingredients together.
- Depending on the flavor you want, you can now also add in the lemon skin or orange skin or dried chillies. If you do not add any of these optional ingredients, it's fine too. The wine will have a spicy ginger taste.
- Once the yeast has finished proofing, add it to this mixture and stir again.
- Cover with a lid and leave overnight.
- For the next 6 days, stir daily every morning.
- On the 7th day, test a bit of the wine and check if you need to add a bit more sugar to make it stronger.
- Leave the wine aside for another 7 days.
Strain and Rack the Wine
- On the 14th or 15th day, use a sieve or muslin cloth to strain the wine into a stainless steel pot or another demijohn.
- Bottle the strained wine and leave aside for a few weeks or months before shifting to new bottles again.
- Optional Step: Take out a bowlful of wine and mix with half a teaspoon of baking soda. Once mixed add a few tablespoons of the wine to each bottle and let is rest for a few weeks. This will both clarify the wine and reduce acidity.
- You can see the pics showing the different stages of clarity of the ginger wine in the post. Of course, if you don't want to wait for the wine to clarify, you can easily drink and serve the ginger wine once you've bottled it. It's up to you. Cheers!
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- You can use either sultanas or raisins or a mixture of both in any amount since both do the same job.
- You can use Indian yeast brands such as Blue Bird or Crown, but I prefer using the stronger French yeast such as Saf Levure or DCL which are pretty good. Those little beasties are a lot stronger than Indian yeast.
- If using wine yeast, 1 sachet (7 g) of wine yeast should be enough. Follow the instructions on the packet.
- Try to use lemons and not sour limes as they’re zestier and less acidic than sour limes.
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Nutrition (Per Serving)
Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.
121 thoughts on “How to make Ginger Wine At Home”
Hi Abby, thanks for your marvellous recipe! I made 2 gallons which are nicely bubbling away in their Demijohns.
My question is this, is it ok to ‘blend’ the ginger roughly in a blender rather than bruising it with a pestle and mortar? I only have a medium size pestle and mortar and was getting quite weary halfway through the last lot of ginger and did just that with rest of it. Do you think it’ll matter if I use the blender for my next batch?
It really is an excellent recipe….how do I know that? I keep on having a taste from one demijohn just to make sure it’s doing alright! It’s so warming!
Yes, a rough run through the blender or food processor will work just fine. 🙂
Can I ferment the wine in an airtight glass jar instead of a ceramic one?
You can use a glass jar, but not an airtight one. It needs to be ever so slightly open at the top, or have an airlock like the demijohns used for wine. Happy fermenting!
Oh thanks, brilliant!
My first attempt at winemaking. Have followed your recipe closely and used sultanas.
I didn’t proof the yeast though as it was active dried type. However, I am on day 3 of stirring it and it is hardly fizzing, is that okay?
Thanks for your kind assistance,
The first few days, the yeast is usually super active. So there might be a problem.
Try and check these few things – if the sugar wasn’t enough, or if the sugar was all eaten up, or if you need to add more yeast.
First thing in the morning, just before it’s time to stir the must, try adding about 100 grams of sugar to it. If it fizzes for a minute or two, it means the yeast are active and the sugar wasn’t enough, and you need to add a lot more sugar. If the yeast doesn’t fizz, add in another teaspoon of yeast, and hopefully, it’ll start fizzing in a few hours. If it does, it means you need to add more yeast.
Let me know if this works, and we’ll take it from there.
HI ABBEY, i do alot of wine making so i thought i would try your ginger wine, just finished making 5 gallons and the taste is to die for, thank you so much, i only make 5 gallon batches, so next is ginger and strawberry and ginger and rhubarb, so glad i came across your web site, regards Shaun
Thanks Shaun! Would love an update on how the ginger and strawberry turns out. 🙂
HI, ABBEY a update on my strawberry and ginger wine, the colour is a golden copper colour, the taste is , well you can taste the strawberry in it, it’s pretty strong. and i think its the best wine i have made, im a big fan of wine mixing with ginger, and to be honest its helping me with my stomach problems ( a long story with lots of pills) so i owe it all to your ginger wine , thank you very much ,
Sounds tasty! We haven’t mixed strawberry and ginger yet. So we’ll try that soon. 🙂
If you have stomach issues, try a mix of dried rose petals and ginger wine. It tastes good and rose petals are generally cooling for the system.
So happy to go thro yr recipe n all yr replies to d comments. I hv made grape wine but did not try ginger. Will try it soon.
This is my first time making wine and, would like to start with a small batch. Can I just divide all the proportions given by 2?
Yes, you can divide all the ingredients by 2, except for the yeast. Yeast works on different rules, so for the yeast, probably do about 3/5ths the original amount. Thanks!
Thankyou so much
Thank you Abby! This recipe is just so yum!! The wine has come out really well. Going to make some more 🙂 Happy, happy me!!
I’ve just put together everything for the ginger wine in a barni.
I didn’t think I would need to message you, since about 2 weeks ago I went through all the queries and your prompt and well explained replies.
However, just now, after reading the latest query by Monisha… I too have made half the quantity and logically I’ve halved all the ingredients including yeast @12-13gms.
Now reading your reply about 3/5th of the original yeast quantity (15 gms) would it make any difference?
Should I just add 2 more grams of the yeast to the mixture and stir ? Or should I just leave it at that?
Will appreciate your confirmation ☺️
If you’ve already started fermentation two weeks ago, don’t worry about it. You could just do a smell and taste test to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not happy with the alcohol content, you can add the extra yeast, and let it ferment for a week or so longer. But if it looks good to your nose and tongue, just leave it be and adjust the measurements for the next batch. Abby
Today is day 7 and, on tasting the wine, I found it really acidic and not sweet at all. Please help. I’ve made a gallon.
If it’s too acidic, it could either be because the ginger was off or because the yeast have gobbled up all the sugar.
If it’s a ginger problem, the only thing we can do is use the wine for cooking and make another batch.
If it’s a yeast problem, just add in about 100 or 150 gms or so of sugar and continue as usual. This will reduce a bit of the acidity, but the rest of it can be neutralized on Day 15 when you add the baking soda. Hope that helps.
Thankyou so much!
Padmaja here. My ginger batch is now on day 8. I understand I should let it sit (not stir it) for another 7 days. – I took a small taste of it. It’s YUM! Spicy and perfectly sweet. But a bit watery. Will it get (a bit thicker) wine consistency over time? My 2nd question: should I put a tight lid on it for the next 7 days? Or leave it with the muslin cloth cover? Lastly, I didn’t have big ceramic jars. So made both Raisin wine (Day 3) & Ginger wine (Day 8) in a big Stainless Steel containers. Does it make a difference in taste? (ceramic vs SS).
Pl. let me know your feedback when you have the time. Thank you Abby.
You’re probably thinking of the sweet syrupy Indian wines. This isn’t like that. It’s not syrupy, but it’s strong. As long as it’s strong you’re good. If by watery, you mean it’s fika or not strong, then we’ll have to have a second look at your ingredients.
Either the muslin cloth cover or a loose lid is fine for the next 7 days.
And nope, no noticeable difference with the containers.
Hope that helps,
Thank you Abby for taking the time to respond to my query (and every other query).
I just took a taste of my black & gold Raisin wine (day 15) too. Both my ginger wine and Raisin wine taste awesome. I may have made a mistake adding just a cup more water perhaps :\.. So ‘watery’ as in more water in it than it should. But the taste is great. For the next batch, I will invest in a ceramic container and a set of proper measuring cups set. ;).
Thanks, Abby for the awesome recipes. Be well and spread joy as you always do!
Glad to hear that!
Wrote to you earlier.
It’s been 14 days since I started. Today I’ve drained the wine and squeezed the juice out of the ginger and raisins.
However the wine is tasting slightly acidic. I haven’t altered anything in the ingredients.
The barni cover was kept loose and well covered with a cloth to prevent any kind of insects entering.
What do I do?
I had read in previous comments something about baking soda…any help? And how much for half the quantity of the recipe?
Add less than a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to wine and let it rest for a few weeks. It should be fine after that.
I did like you suggested and added the baking soda.
It has cut the acidity level as needed.
About the taste I’m not sure if I’ve got it right, as frankly, I haven’t tasted Ginger wine as yet. I just wanted to try this tempting recipe
Is it supposed to be sweet like the homemade grape wine? Bcoz I haven’t added any extra sugar. Just stuck to the measurements in your recipe.
There is a sweetness, but not to the same degree as the grape wine. The ginger wine will taste like the grape wine, but better!
Hi, can I use just a white wine yeast. Thanks
Sure you can!
Thank you for your recipe, Can I use raw honey instead of white sugar!!
You should be able to use honey to make ginger wine, but the taste and the flavor will change based on the honey you use. I haven’t experimented with honey yet, so I can’t help you with measurements.
Hi Abby, just making your marvellous recipe for the second time. I made a mash 5 days ago and put in the lemon juice but didn’t put in a lemon skin as I didn’t have an organic lemon. I’m just about to put the organic lemon I’ve since bought, will it harm the brew if I squeeze the extra lemon juice in as well?
Also the brew smells wonderful vinous and tastes great so far but no big bubbles; it’s a bit chilly in Wales at the moment so do you think that’s why?
Please don’t add the extra lemon juice in – it will turn acidic. Only add the skin.
The absence of bubbles – was the yeast good? Did it proof okay? It could also be for either of two reasons – either the yeast have finished all the sugar or the yeast isn’t enough. First, add a spoonful of sugar to the wine. If it fizzes for a bit immediately, it means you need to add more sugar to feed to yeast. If it doesn’t, it’s probably the yeast. Add half a teaspoon of yeast, and hopefully by the next morning, it should be fizzing again.
But also, the temp bit. Colder temperatures can sometimes make the yeast go dormant. Can you move the wine bucket somewhere close to the refrigerator, so that it gets the heat coming off the compressor? Or can you use on of those old lightbulbs that heat up a room and place it next to the wine? Or can you wrap the bucket with a heating blanket set on low? Or do something else innovative that will help ferment. (Just don’t put it in the sun.)
Let me know how things go.
Thanks, I will try these suggestions
Excellent. Thank you so much
Hi, I made this following your recipe and it was absolutely wonderful. Decided to make some more and I’ve bought 1.5 kg of ginger. I will just increase the recipe quantities but not sure what I should do about the yeast? I’m planning on using white wine yeast which states “1 teaspoon for 4.5 to 22.5 L of wine” – Should I just go with 1tsp or increase it? Many thanks
Wine yeast is a starter colony, so the packet should tell you how much of it you need. If it says 1 tsp for 4.5 litre, use the entire 1 tsp since that’s the basic amount of the starter that you’ll need for the yeast to breed. If you were using it for 9 litre, it would still be 1 tsp as the yeast wuld breed n times more. It won’t affect the alcohol content in any way. So basically, stick with the instructions on the packet. You can always do a test one week in and check if you need to add a bit more yeast.
I made the ginger wine ten days ago.. and was out of town.. when I got back I realized I hadn’t added yeast to the mix! Will it still ferment naturally? Or should I add yeast now?
It’s a bit too late to add the yeast in. But it should ferment naturally and give you around 2% to 3% strength. You can always add yeast in the next batch. 😉
Is there a way for me to add some bubbles once I’ve bottled it? I’m on day 10 of the fermentation process
I’ve found that the quarter teaspoon of baking soda that we add for clarity, also adds a bit of bubbles if left alone for a few months. But I haven’t experimented with adding bubbles per se, so I can’t really help with that.
Thanks! You’re instructions were very clear and my ginger wine looks exactly like yours
Awesome Annie! Cheers!
Great post Abby! So glad to find you. My late EI Mom, may she RIP left me a recipe, but your tips & tricks are great. I loaded up a batch last night but I had a question about the fruit, do you throw the raisins away? Or are they good to reuse in another recipe? Thanks in advance.
Happy to connect! It’s best not to use the leftover fruit for other recipes. Although it smells like Christmas cake, it is in fact dead fruit. You should discard it. Or you can do what I do and reuse it to make a weaker wine that you can use as a spritzer or cool summer drink. Scroll up just a bit and you’ll find the measurements in my answer to Debs. (21 Feb 2021)
I make ginger bugs usually – adding lemons and ginger and water to a wide mouthed jar and then leaving it to catch organic cultures and feeding it sugar until it starts to fizz. 2 years ago I had a ginger bug that i let get to the fermented bubbling process and then I burped it and left it ………for 2years :). I just opened it today to have a taste and it taste and smells fine ….maybe just a bit tarty. Im now planning to strain the lemons and ginger out and bottle it up and leave it for another week or more. Does this sound like it’s safe process and how do I know what alcohol content it might have? Many Thanks, Avril
I’ve only stored wine for years, but bugs with the decomposing mass of fruit I’ve never kept for more than a month. Our ancestors have been fermenting food and drink for longer, so by their standards, it might have been fine. But I’m not in a position to comment on the safety of the process. I’m really sorry I can’t help you with this.
(But if you do use it, I’d love to know how it goes.)
i am going to try your recipe, however, can you confirm if it must be organic lemon that I use.
Organic lemons, homegrown lemons, or local farmer’s market lemons are preferred. But if you can’t find those, store-bought will work too. Just give them a good rinse, but not too much. 😉