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)
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.