Djiendja Bierie (Surinamese Ginger Beer)

Ginger beer is sold in cans in supermarkets. The better version can be found in Caribbean restaurants where they make it themselves. But the superlative of all is when you make it yourself. You decide on the sweetness, you decide on the spiciness. But how to make ginger beer? Read on and we’ll show you that it is not difficult at all!

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Wondering how to make ginger beer? It's easy to make and refreshing to take: Surinamese Ginger Beer

Have you ever wondered how to make Ginger Beer?

Ginger beer is something you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean, the Caribbean shores and beyond. Recipes are alike, but additions vary. From almond extract to pineapple to even Madame Jeanette peppers (AKA Suriname Yellow).

As I grew up in the Netherlands, I got quite familiar with Surinamese cuisine and it was in those Surinamese warungs that I discovered ginger beer: a spicy soda drink that accompanies almost any Surinamese dish very well (add rum and lime and it makes for a very tasty Dark & Stormy , one of our favorite cocktails :-)). 

Many of those eateries, both in Suriname and in the Netherlands make the Ginger Beer themselves. And it is surprisingly easy to do so! How to make your own Ginger Beer? The hardest thing is patience, but you only need it for 48 hours as the fermentation goes quite rapidly.

Kitchen utensils

  • Grater
  • Oven


For 1 liter

Ginger and lemon are the main ingredients for Surinamese Ginger Beer or Djiendja bierie as they call it.
  • 90 grams (3 Oz) of ginger
  • 175 grams (6 Oz) of sugar
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yeast (WARNING: do not use more, especially not the first time you make it)
  • 1 liter (32 Oz) of water

How to make Ginger Beer the Surinamese way

Cook time: 5 min. | Prep time: 10 min. | Wait time: 48 hrs.

  1. Boil 1 liter (32 Oz) of water and add 175 grams (6 Oz) of sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let the water cool down.

  2. Wash the ginger by rinsing it – don’t peel (a lot of flavor is in the skin).

  3. Grate the ginger above a large bowl and squeeze out the 2 lemons and keep together.

To make ginger beer start by grating the ginger with the skin for extra flavor in your ginger beer.
  1. Add 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, 6 cloves and ¾ of the cooled down water. Stir well.
    Warning: do not use more yeast. The yeast is responsible for the carbon dioxide to be formed. If you add more, there will be more carbon dioxide and hence opening the bottle will give a bang (always open the bottle the first time with stretched arms away from your face).

  2. Pour the water and all the ingredients into a clean plastic bottle (I used the plastic bottle from which I used the water) using a funnel. Use the remainder of the water to gather all ingredients that are still in the bowl and the funnel.

    Make sure to leave 2 inches (5 centimeters) of space between the liquid and the lid. This is needed for any gas that will be created while fermenting. Do not give in on this buffer.

  3. Put on the lid and mix well by shaking the bottle thoroughly. 

  4. Now put the bottle to stand for 48 hours at room temperature. The ginger will ferment and carbon dioxide will be formed (and a tiny bit of alcohol).

    After a few hours, carefully open the bottle with stretched arms such that some gas can escape. Do the same before sleeping and again when getting up. If you do not overdue the yeast, this should all be fine.

  5. After 48 hours, put the ginger beer into the fridge.

Drink when chilled with ice and a slice of lemon. (Or go for that Dark & Stormy, as suggested earlier :-))

When making Surinamese Ginger Beer it need to ferment for some 48 hours.
On the left the bottle with all the ingredients just after mixing it. On the right the same bottle on the same spot the next day: fermenting is in process!
How to make ginger beer? Just ginger, lemon, cloves, sugar and a bit of yeast is what you need for Surinamese Ginger Beer.


Recipe: Djiendja Bierie
Prep: 10 min.
5 min.
48 hrs.
15 min.
ginger, cloves, yeast, lemon, sugar
Type of meal: drink

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