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November 20, 2012
Last updated

How to Make a Ginger Alcohol Tincture

Owner of Clawhammer Supply

Organic Alcohol Tincture - Ginger"Moonshine ginger tincture" - it's not generally what comes to mind when we think of medicine these days. However, in the early 1900's alcohol was just as commonly used as medicine as it was a social lubricant and a form of entertainment. In fact, alcohol tinctures were some of the best medicines available for treating common illnesses.

Alcohol tinctures have been used for generations "to cure what ails ya," as the saying goes. On the American frontier, mountain folk, and doctors alike, would mix ethyl alcohol with everything from tree bark to American ginseng, ginger, golden seal, honey, and even candy. However, tinctures were most often made with native plants known for their medicinal properties. One of the most common tinctures was made with ginger and alcohol. Keep reading to learn about the best kind of alcohol to use.

Wild American ginger is found as far north as Maine, as far South as Georgia, and all the way from the east coast to the great plains. It grows in the shade, beneath dense canopies of deciduous forests. Ginger leaves are shaped like hearts and its flowers are small, red cups, with three wispy tips. Early American settlers, and many other cultures before them (such as the Native Americans), used ginger as medicine, as well as a spice for foods. Settlers concentrated the potency of ginger's beneficial compounds by soaking it in high proof alcohol. Alcohol is able to dissolve substances which are less soluble in water. It also acts as a preservative.

The best kind of ginger and alcohol to use in tinctures is organic ginger and organic grain alcohol. Something like Ole Smokey, and even Everclear or high proof vodka would do the trick but this Organic Moonshine by Old Standard would be perfect.

Now would be a good time to mention that distilling alcohol is illegal without a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit, as well as relevant state and local permits. Our distillation equipment is designed for legal uses only and the information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation.

Modern science has actually proven the validity of many of ginger's traditional medicinal uses. Ginger has been shown to exhibit antibacterial qualities - with the ability to treat staph infections, it is an aid for several types of nausea and digestive issues, it is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be effectively used to help ease complications and pain associated with many diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

How to make it:

Slice organic ginger roots into quarter inch chunks and fill a glass jar 3/4 full. Top with 80-100 proof organic grain alcohol (non-organic will do if you can't get your hands on organic) and seal tightly.  Leave it sit and mature for at least 6 months before using.


Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

  • I made ginger and alcohol soak 6 months. Need to know new steps to use this for inflammation. Do I discard the ginger and use dropper for the ginger into a beverage?

    Posted by Karen on April 05, 2024
  • Hey bruce did you let it sit for 90 minutes at 152 degrees after you added the barley ?

    Posted by Russ on June 17, 2019
  • hey ive ran a few batches but it was always corn meal and suger with bakers yeast the cheapest way i could go. i was pullen some batches at 170 proof but all of them were atleast 130 proof. so i get a little money and order the malted barley and the 6 row cracked corn and finally get some high spirits whiskey yeast and i do all the things your supposed to do . bring the water up t170 stir in the corn i even added a little amylese to the corn added the barley after it cooled a bit then aireated it and wited till it cooled strain all the mash out added yeast. out of 10 gallons of mash ive gotten about three quarts of 100 proof liquor wtf did i do wrong so finally im just running it down until its just about water and im gonna runnit through again but i probably yield about a half gallon if that of descrent liquor. where the hell did i go wrong here. i got another batch fermenting now of just suger wash and turbo yeast i hope that will put out at least 150 proof. otherwise im just gonna go back to the cheap ways any help would be appreciated.

    Posted by bruce gibson on February 18, 2018
  • I’m so glad I found y’all. I can wait to make every one of your recipes especially the ginger ones.

    Posted by ANgel PRieur on March 30, 2016
  • I’m so glad I found y’all. I can wait to make every one of your recipes especially the ginger ones.

    Posted by ANgel PRieur on March 30, 2016
  • Typically you follow the instructions of other tincures. Administer by droppers. And then it depends on potency.
    For an adult. Add 3 dropper fulls to water…juice..whatever cool beverage. Then drink it. For a child it’s usually half an adult dose.Try not to add to hot liquids as this ruins many beneficial chemicals in the tincture. Hope this helps

    Posted by Mike on July 15, 2015
  • How long at 85c does it take to run off 5gal wash?

    Posted by Tim martinez on March 29, 2013
  • This site is great! keep it up.

    Posted by Taylor on December 10, 2012
  • I used ginger for my father in law when he had nausea due to his cancer treatment. It worked like a charm. Also. My kung fu instructor used something he caused b.g. it was a distilled tincture of ginseng and other herbs and roots used for bruises in training. Pain went away imm.

    Posted by Lynn Campbell on December 03, 2012
  • My grandma always used lemon honey and whisky for coughs. It’s a damn shame that these old time remedies are dying out. My father always took a shot of pepermint schnaps for his cold/cough.
    I think its time for home distillation is legalized (in small ammounts). For this reason.

    Posted by Fred F on November 21, 2012
  • Do you sip the shine or eat a chunk of the Ginger?

    Posted by Greg Thurman on November 21, 2012

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