Surprisingly, one of the best known Corfiot products and another trademark of the island is ginger beer (in Corfiot tsitsibira!). It was introduced by the British and became very popular with the locals. So popular that when the British left, they went on making their own tsitsibira! It’s very refreshing and has a unique taste.
Ginger beer is said to be very good for you: It is good for the stomach and it can cure diarrhea and nausea. Ginger may also decrease pain from arthritis and may have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease.
Here’s a recipe to make your own ginger beer, the Corfu way:
Take a plastic 2-litre bottle (NO GLASS, tsitsibyra can get explosive!)
Pour in one cup of sugar and a quarter of a teaspoon dry yeast. Mix well.
Add two spoonfuls of ground, dried ginger and the juice of one lemon. Close the bottle and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill with water but not to the top, leave the last 4 fingers free. Close the bottle firmly and leave for 24-48 hours in a warm place to ferment. Ginger beer produces its own CO2!
The ginger beer is ready when you can’t squeeze the bottle. Put it in the fridge and when it’s cool transfer it to another bottle, using a strainer filled with cotton to filter it.
You can keep it in the fridge for a month. Enjoy!
It is now also possible to purchase Corfiot ginger beer online!