Gemmer – South African Style Ginger Drink

Gemmer is not only delicious but also boasts numerous health benefits attributed to ginger. For more information on the wonderful properties of ginger, consider conducting a quick online search.

This recipe is adapted from the book “Africa on My Mind” by Marcus Samuelsson, which offers a captivating culinary journey throughout the African continent. It’s a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring exotic cuisines and cultures.


  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 6 inches (16 cm) ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar (e.g., cane or your favorite)
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods


  1. In a large pot, combine the water, lime juice, orange juice, grated ginger, sugar, cloves, and cardamom pods.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the ginger, cloves, and cardamom pods.
  6. Transfer the strained liquid to a clean container and refrigerate for at least two hours, or preferably longer, until chilled.
  7. Serve the gemmer cold over ice, garnished with a slice of lime or orange, if desired.

Note: Feel free to adjust the proportions of water and juice to your preference. You can also experiment with different fruit juices, such as mango, in combination with citrus fruits. However, be sure not to reduce the amount of ginger, as it is the key ingredient that defines the flavor of gemmer.