Saturday, June 25, 2016

The LAKUGA – MAHALE FOREST GINGER BEER



Careful, the LAKUGA is blowing….

This will quench the thirst of the hottest of “chimpers” as they return from their machete-wielding, primate-tracking expeditions through the forest. If you can find it, a few roots of wild African ginger and a handful of ripped ginger leaves grabbed while in the forest add an extra punch that sends the taste buds reeling.

The LAKUGA WIND starts blowing up.... deep clouds sliding down from the cool tip of the green mountains in the heart of Tanzania, picking up sand from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, blowing through hair and dresses, covering stretchers and umbrellas, even the chimps hide away!
Susan while in Mahale

QUENCH YOUR THIRST

Serves 3

300 g ginger (or 250g ginger, 100g wild ginger root)
3 lemons
2 limes
5 tbs soft brown sugar
100 ml spring water
1 lt soda water
Peel and grate the ginger. Scrub the lemons and limes to remove the waxy layer of the peel and them quarter them. Add the water and brown sugar and using a pestle, bash them together, squeezing the juice from the fruits so that all the flavors combine. If you are using African ginger, rip a few leaves into the mixture. Leave it to marinade for an hour or so, ideally refrigerated. Then pass the mixture through a coarse sieve, squeezing the last of the juice from the mixture. Pour the concentrate over ice and top up with the liter of soda water. You may have to add more sugar or lemon juice to taste. Frost the rims of the glasses by dipping first into lemon juice, then soft brown sugar.
A shot of rum transforms this into a punchy cocktail – the Lakuga, named after the wind that brings dark and stormy nights to Mahale at the end of the dry season.

 BY THE WAY, HOW WAS YOUR TREK TO THE CHIMPS ?
Susan climbing up Mahale National Park mountains in Tanzania


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