Recipe: D.I.Y. Ginger Ale, Part I

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Cold season is upon us. We already had a nasty cold, and it's making its way through our friends now too. Hot tea is our first line of defense, but it's been so warm still, and we've turned to other home-grown remedies. One of these is ginger ale. Ginger is spectacularly good for your throat and stomach; it puts nausea away immediately.

Here's our recipe for a syrup-based homemade ginger ale. You can combine the ginger syrup with sparkling water for ginger soda, or steep it with lemon juice and brewed tea for a hot drink. This isn't true ginger ale, however; that takes a little more kitchen science magic. We'll look at that next week.

Ginger Syrup Soda
1/2 pound fresh ginger root - about 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves (optional)
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Sparkling water
Lime wedges

Peel and chop the ginger root into thin matchsticks. Cover with the water in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a low boil and simmer until reduced by at least half - about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill in the refrigerator.

When ready to use, strain through a sieve. Pour about 1/2 cup of syrup into a 12 ounce glass and top off with sparkling water. Add a lime and enjoy.

Per serving, based on 2 servings. (% daily value)
1 g (1.5%)
0.3 g (1.4%)
0 g
96.9 g (32.3%)
3.3 g (13.3%)
76.8 g
2.2 g (4.4%)
28 mg (1.2%)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.