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Homemade Ginger Ale July 11, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — aprasek @ 11:57 pm

About 3 years ago I gave up conventional soda (“pop” as we call it in the Midwest). It was only a few weeks until I was really bored with my limited healthy drink options- water and iced tea. I was craving something a little sweet…

So, I concocted my own version of fresh ginger ale and found it to be a really yummy and healthy drink to mix up my beverage lineup. Here’s my secret recipe; I have to warn you though, there are no specific amounts for ingredients (I can never follow recipes!). After a few batches, you’ll find out the thickness you like for your concentrate and can eye it out every time.  

 

What you’ll need: 

Peeled Ginger root

(Get a root that is firm and free of spots or shriveled ends. You can peel the skin off easily with a spoon.)

Water

Local Honey

(Find a local honey to help reduce spring/summer allergy symptoms. If you rather, you can use another type of natural sweetener- of course, the less refined the better.)

Carbonated Water/Club Soda  

(I like to use a natural, unsweetened lime or berry sparkling water)

Fresh Mint

Fresh Limes

Optional juices to mix in

(Orange, pomegranate and cranberry are my favorite)

 

What you’ll do:

To create the ginger concentrate: Peel ginger root with spoon and chop/slice into pieces (or grate if you like). Put ginger pieces in a medium sized sauce pot. Add honey (or other sweetener) into pot and place pot over medium heat. Slowly add enough tablespoons of water to the pot until you reach a simple syrup consistency (thinner than honey, thicker than water- you get the idea). This may take up to 10 minutes depending on the sweetener you’re using and how much concentrate you’re making. Remove pot from stove and let cool. When concentrate has cooled for 30 minutes or so, pour it into a glass mason jar and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it (it doesn’t have to be used immediately and continues to strengthen its flavor over time).   

To assemble the drink:  Fill a glass with sparkling water and as much concentrate as you’d like, depending on the sweetness you desire (add a little less if you will be adding juice). Add a bit of torn fresh mint and lime slices and muddle it all at the bottom of your glass. Add a splash of juice if you like and stir everything up to let the mint and lime release from the bottom of the glass. Add ice and garnish with more lime and mint if you like. Enjoy! 

Fresh ginger ale has a lot of great health benefits. Here are just a few:  

Depending on how much concentrate you put in, you can have a low-calorie beverage. 

Honey is a great sweetener that is all-natural, safe and recognized by the body (unlike the high fructose corn syrups or artificial sweeteners in most carbonated beverages). Honey can also reduce allergy symptoms.

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory (research has shown benefits for those with arthritis and other inflammatory issues), a great detoxifier for the body and can ease nausea (great for PMS and tummy aches).

Mint also aids in digestion, stimulates the body and mind and has antiseptic properties (minty fresh breath!).

Limes are a great source for vitamin C, antioxidants and have cleansing effects in the body.  

 

Drink up, Chill out…

~Aimee

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5 Responses to “Homemade Ginger Ale”

  1. Becki Says:

    I’ll come over and drink some of yours!

  2. tanz Says:

    hey, this sounds great but how long does the concentrate last in the fridge?

  3. Aimee Says:

    Good Question Tanz, I’ve kept mine in the fridge for 2 weeks no prob (I’m sure it could last longer, I’m just extra careful with food). If you want your concentrate to last longer, freeze it in ice cube trays (after frozen, put cubes in a sealed bag or air-tight container) then use 1 cube melted in each drink.

  4. karey Says:

    I make a similar drink with added blueberries. Do you do anything to get rid of those scratchy fibers of the ginger?

  5. Aimee Says:

    What a great idea to add blueberries! I don’t usually have that problem if slicing a good fresh root. But, if you want to grate it, then one of my tricks is to freeze the root a bit before grating. Otherwise, I’ll just puree the ginger with some of the concentrate to make a bit of a paste then add back to the concentrate. The food processor will blast right through the fibers. Way quicker!


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