Homemade Ginger Ale

This past January I went to Kona, Hawaii to bring my parents home who were serving as missionaries for the past year.  I know it was a rough trip, but some one had to do it.  We went to the local farmers market where they were selling fresh ginger and turmeric EVERYWHERE.  I bought a ton.  1) it was beautiful, 2)it was cheap.  I was giddy.  This ginger was beautiful and yellow without the gray stingy toughness that my local grocery store had all the time.

I brought  it home, wash and peel it.  Then I chop the ginger and put in the freezer for future use.  It freezes great and now I always have fresh ginger on hand.  THEN I put the skin into my juicer (Omega 3...LOVE IT).  I get a lot of fresh ginger juice.  I pour the juice into ice cube trays, freeze then pop the frozen ginger cubes into a plastic bag.  I now have fresh ginger and fresh ginger juice ready and waiting for me.

Ginger is a great natural anti-inflammatory.  My son swears by it for an upset stomach.  I just love adding a tablespoons or so of fresh ginger juice into other juices or smoothies.

Have you noticed the fresh ginger in your local grocery store lately?  The ginger in my favorite Asian market has been absolutely beautiful and the cost is $1.29 lb.  I just can't pass this up.  Every time I'm shopping there I buy a bag full.  I bring it home and go through the same process of chopping, juicing freezing.  My husband told me not to buy anymore ginger.  That was an unrealistic request.  I must purchase all of the beautiful ginger I can find.  Who knows how long it will last?  Soon the ginger will be tough, stringy and gray.  She who has the most ginger WINS!

I should mention that my son gave me his Omega 3 juicer (sucker).  If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have been able to juice the skins so well.  

You will need a boat load of fresh ginger, sugar, water, limes and a bit of mint which is optional, but you really shouldn't omit it.

Peel the ginger.  I just use a pairing knife and gently scrape the skin off.

Slice the ginger.  You will need 2 cups of sliced, peeled ginger.

Place the ginger into a medium size sauce pan.

Add 2 cups of water.

Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Cover with a lid and let the mixture steep or stand for 1 hour.

After one hour, remove the lid and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.  Discard the remaining ginger.

Pour the liquid back into the same sauce pan.

Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and place over low heat.

Warm the syrup just until the sugar melts.  Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.

Pour the cooled syrup into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.  Make sure the syrup is nice and cold before making the ginger ale.

Let's make ginger ale.  Please note that this recipe is pretty much based on taste.  I'll give you  a few guidelines, but feel free to adjust to make your ginger ale to your liking.

You will need chilled sparkling water, limes, fresh mint, ginger syrup and ice.

A good ratio to use is:  1 part lime juice, 2 parts ginger syrup and 3 parts sparkling water.

For an eight ounce glass of ginger ale, squeeze 1/2 of a lime into a glass.

I like to bruise the mint a bit to release the flavors.  I just pound the leaves a few times.

Add the mint to the lime juice.  

Oh, let me mention the use of FRESH-squeezed lime juice.  Don't go and buy that reconstituted crapola lime juice...please.

Add the ginger syrup.  About 1/4 cup.  

Now add the sparkling water to fill the glass.  Leave room for ice.

Just give the drink a stir to blend all of the liquids.

Now you can add the ice.

Top the ginger ale with a sprig of mint and a straw.


Homemade Ginger Ale

2 cups peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large bottle of sparkling water
fresh limes 
fresh mint leaves

To make the Ginger syrup:  In a medium size sauce pan, heat the water and ginger until it reaches a low simmer.  Simmer for five minutes.  Remove from the heat and cover.  Let stand for 1 hour.  

After one hour, drain the juices through a fine mesh strainer.  Discard the ginger pieces.  Let cool then place in a jar and refrigerate.

To make the Ginger Ale:  In a tall glass, add 1 part lime juice (about 1/2 lime per glass), 2 parts ginger syrup, and 3 parts sparkling water.  Stir to combine the liquids.  Fill glass with ice.  If desired, add fresh mint.

Adjust to your liking.  I always end up adding more lime juice.

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Thanks, Ry, for being our beverage connoisseur.  

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