Sometimes when you make a change to your diet, you have to do things to keep the people in your house happy. I love making special things for Barry….and I knew he was missing an occasional soda since I had quit buying it. After the water kefir fiasco I wasn’t sure Barry would drink anything else I concocted. And let me tell you – I can concoct some pretty weird things y’all.
Barry LOVES ginger ale. I cannot stand the ginger ale from the store because it reminds me of being sick – when I was little, mom would give it to us to settle upset stomachs. I kept seeing various recipes for ginger ale online, so I concocted one of my own from various recipes – to suit our tastes. And you know what? I actually like it. It doesn’t taste like your store versions of ginger ale. Barry says it tastes like the old fashioned Vernor’s ginger ale. Let’s make some ale y’all! Wow – that sounded like a bar maid.
First, you need a fresh piece of ginger about three inches long. I’m not going to lie to ya…..fresh ginger looks weird. It reminds me of old lady fingers. It just looks creepy. I feel weird buying it – like I have to explain myself. I bought mine at Earth Fare…..twice. The first time I bought some, I put it in the fridge and forgot about it. About a month later I found it growing something green in the back of the refrigerator. Uhhh, oops? If you think fresh ginger looks weird, you should see fresh ginger that’s growing green fuzz. Thinly slice the entire piece.
Put your freshly sliced ginger down in a small pot with two cups of water. You can add the peeling from half a lemon if you want. I wasn’t going to do this part, but I remembered I still had some lemon peels in the freezer leftover from the strawberry lemonade fiasco. There are lots of fiascos going on around here.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. It’s going to make the entire house smell REALLY good.
When it’s done steeping, you need to strain the mixture to remove the ginger and lemon (I stuck the ginger and lemon in a jar and put it in the fridge. I want to see if I can get two batches from one piece of ginger. See note at the end). I strained directly into the jar that I was going to store it in. It should still be warm, so it’s a good time to stir in your sweetener. I used honey. Since the mixture was warm, it mixed up nicely. Chill this mixture thoroughly.
You will be mixing your ginger concentrate with either sparkling water or club soda. You want something with carbonated water in it. I wish I had a carbonated water machine…..but I’m not sure we can fit another appliance in this house. And yet, there always seems to be room for dust. We used sparkling water that I also found at Earth Fare on, wait for it……………..clearance. Because that’s how I roll.
When you’re ready to make your ginger ale, mix ¼ cup of the ginger solution with 8 ounces of sparkling water/club soda. Stir and drink. Yum! You might want to add more sweetener, but we didn’t. It’s bubbly in the tummy – without all the weirdness of soda from the store. This particular recipe will make 8 servings of ginger ale. This is Stacy The Bar Maid, signing out.
NOTE: Using the same ginger and lemon for a second batch worked…..sorta. You need to use double the amount of ginger concentrate to the same amount of sparkling water. It did not work a third time.
Homemade Ginger Ale
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 3 inches in length
2 cups of water
½ lemon, rind only
1/3 cup honey
Sparkling Water or Club Soda
Thinly slice ginger. Add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain mixture to remove ginger and lemon. Stir in honey. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
Mix ¼ cup of ginger solution with 8 ounces of sparkling water. Serve immediately.
*This post is linked at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Made at Home Monday at The Purposed Heart, at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Think Pink Sunday on Flamingo Toes, at Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures, at Real Food 101 at Ruth’s Real Food, and at Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Penniless Parenting.