06 October 2011

Homemade Ginger Ale

When I was 10 years old I gave up two things for New Year. I gave up eating meat (and that lasted for about 20 years with a brief break of 6 years) and soda. One doctor I read calls soda "liquid candy." Let's not be fooled. There is nothing good for the body about supermarket soda. But it's not called "liquid candy" for nothing. Candy is good in solid and "liquid" form. But even as a naive 10 year old, I knew it needed to be an unrequited love of mine.
Although my soda resolution only lasted for one year, until I was 11 years old, my consumption of soda waned considerably after that. I still love it. But I don't crave it nor do I keep it in my house. However, when it's in my presence and easily available I drink way to much of it. So naturally I had to find a way to have my "liquid candy" fix without all the corn syrup and other unpronounceable ingredients. Luckily, I found it through Imbibe Magazine.

I've always loved fresh ginger as a cooking ingredient, and a good Schweppes Ginger Ale. Now I love my homemade Ginger Ale even better. Get this! I can pronounce all the ingredients. I suggest you impress your friends and yourself and make this great drink. It's easy, really good tasting, and cheaper then soda and a tad bit better for you. Did you know that ginger aids in digestion? I'm just say'in. It's another reason to make a little ginger ale tonight.

Homemade Ginger Ale
recipe ingredients from Imbibe Magazine

Ginger Syrup
2 cups Ginger (about 1/2 lbs raw ginger root), unpeeled and coarsely chopped (in a food processor)
2 cups Granulated Sugar
6 cups Water

Place ginger, sugar, and water in a medium sized stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture starts to boil reduce the heat and its contents to a simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Pour the contents of the pot through a cheese cloth, large sieve or mesh strainer suspended above a pitcher, or other container. If using a sieve or strainer, then press the ginger contents with a spoon against the sieve or strainer to drain additional syrup from the ginger. If using a cheese cloth, stain the contents of the pitcher one more time through the cloth.

Cover the container with ginger syrup, and place in the refrigerator. Let cool completely, about 1-2 hours.

Ginger Ale    
1/3 Ginger Syrup
2/3 Club Soda
1 Lime Wedge

Place ice in a glass. Add 1/3 ginger syrup to 2/3 club soda. Squeeze the lime wedge into the ginger ale and mix the contents of the glass. Drink immediately.


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