Monday, July 11, 2011

Homemade Ginger Ale

One thing I immediately noticed about being back on the East Coast is how hot it gets with the humidity.  I grew up on the East Coast so when I heard people refer to "dry heat," I figured there wasn't much of a difference than the heat I was used to.  Oh, how wrong I was.  While California could definitely get hot, especially in the summer, right now, it seems to pale in comparison to a humid July back here.

Since we've been back to the humidity + heat, I've been wanting more refreshing drinks than my usual routine of iced water.  This last one - homemade ginger ale - was definitely a success.  As a disclaimer, it doesn't really taste like the ginger ale you find in grocery stores.  It's much more...gingery.  Like ginger ale probably should be.  It has that spiciness that comes from boiling real chopped ginger but is balanced by the sweetness of the sugar.  A few tablespoons of homemade ginger syrup, a cup of club soda and a squeeze of lime and you have a refreshing drink that helps beat the humidity.

PS - Although the wait for our stuff is almost over, you'll notice we're still drinking out of plastic cups!

Homemade Ginger Ale
Taken from: Joy the Baker

Ginger Syrup (makes 2 cups):
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water
 Ginger Ale:
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 3 tablespoons ginger syrup (plus more to taste)
  • lime wedge
  • dash of bitters (optional, I omitted)
  • ice
  1. Ginger Syrup: Place chopped ginger in a food processor (or blender in a pinch) and pulverize until well chopped (or finely chop by hand).
  2. Place ginger, sugar, and water in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half, until the liquid has reduced down by more than half.  You’re going from 6 cups of liquid to 2 cups.  The boiling syrup will become glossy and silky as it cooks down and nears completion.
  3. Remove syrup from the flame and strain twice through a cheese cloth, or fine mesh strainer, into a large bowl.  Let syrup cool slightly before pouring into a bottle to store.  Cool completely before incorporating into drinks.
  4. Ginger Ale:  Combine all ginger ale ingredients in a glass over ice.  Stir with spoon to incorporate.  Enjoy immediately. 


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