Making Natural Ginger Ale at Home
Fresh, natural ginger ale can be made in a snap, right in your own kitchen.
Ginger ale is so delicious and refreshing. It works miracles against nausea and stomach upset, and is also beneficial in fighting colds and flu. Studies show that ginger is effective in reducing morning sickness and motion sickness, and may also reduce headaches and inflammation. However, many of these health benefits are negated by chemicals that are added to commercial ginger ale products. For example, ginger ale purchased at the store generally contains high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, as well as preservatives. Many brands contain no ginger at all (including some of the "best" brands.) I have even noticed one popular brand that displays "made with real ginger" prominently on the bottle, but when I checked the ingredients list, the word "ginger" was absent. Hmmm...
If you love ginger ale, but don't like the added chemicals, you can make your own at home with all-natural or organic ingredients.Traditional ginger ale must go through a fermenting process, but this recipe is a great substitute that will provide you with the same refreshment and many of the health benefits of the "real thing." (If you want to try your hand at making fermented ginger ale, scroll down to the links at the bottom of this article.)
Using the following instructions, homemade ginger syrup is mixed with club soda to make fresh, natural ginger ale. Read to the end for a second recipe, Blackberry Lime Gingerini.
Ginger Ale Recipe
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger root
Zest from one lime (reserve the lime for serving)
1-1/2 cups pure cane sugar
Club soda or seltzer water
Place ginger, lime zest, and 4 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar. Stirring constantly, continue to simmer another 15 minutes. Do not cook longer as the syrup may develop a bitter bite.
Immediately, strain the ginger mixture using a fine strainer. The strained cooked ginger pieces may be reserved for ginger candy (recipe following.)
Cool the syrup, pour into a glass container and chill at least 1 hour until cold. The syrup will store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.
For each 16-ounce serving, mix 1/4 cup ginger syrup with 1 cup cold club soda and pour over ice. Squeeze a slice of the reserved lime into the class. Additional ginger syrup may be added to taste.
Variations: substitute lemon zest and juice for the lime. Add a tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice to each glass. Or add a squirt of Torani raspberry syrup. Be creative and make your own drink mixes. Enjoy!
Blackberry Lime Gingerini Mocktail
Lime Juice, 1/2 C + 1 tbsp (about 7 limes)
Limes, 2 for wedges
Lime Zest, 1 tbsp
Water, tap, 1 1/4 C
Homemade Ginger Ale, 2 C
Pure Cane Sugar, 1 C
Seedless Blackberry Jam, 3 tbsp
Cardamom Powder, 1/16 tsp (optional)
Tonic or Soda Water, 1 C (optional)
1. Wash limes thoroughly and grate skin with zester or cheese grater to create lime zest. Grate only the green outer layer of the skin, avoiding the bitter white underneath. Set limes aside for later use.
2. Combine plain water, sugar, cardamom and zest in saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and strain to remove zest.
3. While zest is simmering, juice limes. Add bottled lime juice, as necessary.
4. Heat blackberry jam in microwave, stirring every 10 seconds, until it turns to liquid (about 30 seconds total.) If jam is not seedless, pour through a strainer to remove seeds. Add to lime zest mixture.
5. Cool blackberry-lime mixture until warm but not hot to the touch. Place in refrigerator to cool.
6. Just prior to serving, edge glasses with lime wedge and other garnish. Divide blackberry-lime mixture evenly amongst glasses. Pour chilled ginger ale over top. Optionally, add a little crushed ice, or if it is too sweet for you, add a little tonic water.
Do not stir! Provide stir sticks to your guests, instructing them to stir after they are served. The blackberry-lime mixture is thick and heavy. It will rest on the bottom of the glass, producing pretty layers of color.
Number of Servings: 8
Use the leftover ginger from the ginger ale recipe to make a delicious candy. Place the sliced ginger in a bowl and toss with pure cane sugar or turbinado sugar. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Place in the oven at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours, until the ginger has dried but is still flexible. Cool and enjoy, or chop it and add it to peach jam for a delicious spread.
Pure and Unrefined Sugars
Make "Real" Carbonated Ginger Ale at Home
It is a more complicated process, but you can ferment your own ginger ale using simple baker's yeast. The fermentation process adds probiotics and enzymes to the beverage, adding to the health benefits of the ginger. Here are a few recipes:
- How to Make Ginger Ale: 16 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
How to Make Ginger Ale. Even though you can look at the shelves in any supermarket, and find various brands of ginger ale, making your own creates an entirely different (and remarkably better) taste.
- Ginger ale recipe
Ever wonder how to make soda? It's easy! Try this simple soda pop ginger ale recipe.
- Homemade Ginger Ale
MAKING GINGER ALE AT HOME David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. Professor of Biology and Chemistry U.C. Clermont College Batavia OH 45103
- How to Make Ginger Ale
Most folks do not know how to make ginger ale, yet it is one of the easiest drinks to whip up yourself in a matter of minutes.Â Â
Essentials for making fermented ginger ale
I would love to read your comments or suggestions.