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.)
(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)
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…