Saturday, July 18, 2009
Homemade ginger ale
We're fans of homemade summer drinks: limeade, cherbat, iced green or plum tea, etc. Today we made our first real ginger ale. The commercial stuff that comes in two-liter bottles basically consists of high fructose corn syrup and water, and today contains NO actual ginger - only artificial flavoring from New Jersey. (No offense, New Jersey.) Ginger is legendary for its anti-nausea and stomach-soothing effects, which is probably why commercial ginger ale is still given to kids who are sick...except that stuff won't actually work.
Luckily it's extremely easy to make the real stuff. Here's the recipe we followed. I made a 1.5x recipe, which filled up a clean wine bottle.
HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
2 cups ginger root, chopped into about 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
3-4 strips lemon peel
1.5 cups sugar
4 cups water
Put ginger, lemon peel and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil; then simmer for ten minutes. Add sugar, bring to boil again and simmer fifteen minutes. It should reduce in volume to about three cups, and thicken a bit. Then strain the syrup, bottle, and store in fridge. To make a glass of the drink, mix 1/4 cup syrup with 1 cup soda water.
Here's how it looks as it's being strained:
And up top is the finished product along with a glass of the diluted drink, displayed in the window. It's very tasty - not as oversweet as the commercial kind, and with a strong ginger kick.