While there may be snow outside now, the unseasonably warm weather last week made me think that spring is just around the corner! Warm weather means planting season is fast approaching. Personally, I can’t think of anything better after a hard day’s work than a refreshing and delicious beverage.
We don’t drink commercially produced soda often in our family for several reasons, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t crave it. My go-to when I am not feeling well or need something refreshing has always been Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I have actually never flown on a plane without it – it can calm my stomach like nothing else can! While I am not saying our Ginger Ale recipe is on par, I will say that it is a delicious substitute and I no longer crave store-bought soda!
Another component to making your own Ginger Ale is the health benefits associated with fresh ginger. Ginger is proven to ease nausea, act as an anti-inflammatory agent, reduce muscle pain, and can even help with menstrual cramps and migraines (woohoo!). Now, I am not a scientist or doctor, merely someone who does a lot of research, so please look into it yourself if you are so inclined!
As with most of my experiments as of late, one night I was doing research, and turned to Jason and said, “I want to make my own Ginger Ale!” Always the supportive husband, Jason took his well-honed bar management skills and developed this super simple Ginger Ale recipe for me, and I am so happy to share it with you!
To make the Ginger Ale Syrup, you need:
- 1 lb fresh ginger (it grates to about 2 cups)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
To make Ginger Ale from the syrup, you need:
- Ginger Ale Syrup
- Bubble/sparkling water of your choice
- Limes, if you wish
Start by coarsely grating all of the ginger. Husbands come in handy for this exercise.
It does not need to be finely ground or perfect, as you will be straining it out.
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar has fully dissolved.
Bring the sugar water to a rapid boil.
Stir in all of the ginger to the sugar water. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Set a timer for 45 minutes, and continue to stir the mixture every 5-10 minutes.
After 45 minutes, the mixture will have turned brown and thickened to syrup consistency.
Strain out the ginger from the liquid. We use strainers because we have small mesh ones. You could also use cheesecloth for a finer strain. Make sure to press all of the liquid out of the ginger, you don’t want to waste it!
I double-strain, first with a strainer with a slightly larger weave, and then with a smaller one.
It just helps get the finer particles out. Use what you have available.
You’ll want to store your syrup in an air-tight jar or container in the fridge. I love Mason jars and use them for everything so I always have them available. I also am deeply in love with my label maker… The syrup will fill a pint jar pretty perfectly. Since you use 1 oz of the syrup per drink, the recipe will yield you approximately 16 beverages. Though it may be difficult to wait, cool your syrup before moving on to make the Ginger Ale.
Now to make the Ginger Ale! Ironically, as I said before, Jason and I don’t drink soda much, but we do own a Sodastream. This is because we are both obsessed with bubble water! Drinking water can be boring but that little bit of fizz makes it easier to swallow (pun intended). We were going through at least a case a week of (usually) LaCroix when we decided that it was too much of an expense as well as an unnecessary addition to our ecological footprint. Thus, we invested in a Sodastream to cut down on cost and waste, and we absolutely adore it!
Use 1 oz of the syrup to 8 oz of bubble water. It will mix easier if you add the syrup first.
Pour in your bubbles next.
If you would like, add a squeeze of lime. Stir, don’t shake, for obvious reasons. If you’re an adult and want to take this beverage to the next level, try adding an oz of vodka or white rum for a tasty kick!
Top with ice and there you have it, delicious and possibly nutritious Fresh Ginger Ale! Share it with a friend if you are feeling generous, and let me know what you think!