Summer Cooler 4: Homemade Ginger Ale
This is perhaps the most sinful cooler I made this summer. I had to summon all my will power to restrict myself to just one glass.
The moment I saw Yumiko Fujimaki Kon-no post on the Shared Meal page, I knew I had to make it soon. And I did. Its a different story that I took forever to post it on the blog.
I had never been a great fan of cola drinks. It was always orange or lemon flavored ones for me. After diabetes, I have practically given up soda because I absolutely HATE the Diet or the Zero Calorie versions.
The Canada Dry - Ginger Ale is different thought. I really like it. Even their Diet version. Though it claims to be made with real ginger and it does tastes gingerly good, still it is filled with empty calories and nothing nutritious. I reserve it for my "indulgent days".
Both Sam and Sid are both fond of Ginger Ale and I really wanted to make it for them. That is the reason I stuck to the recipe and used Brown Sugar instead of honey or Agave. Yumiko's recipe had warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and I am sure that will taste phenomenal too. But this being summer, I omitted all the warm spices and added some refreshing mint leaves and increased the amount of lime juice. I wanted a summery drink!
I have also scaled up the recipe. I have used a quarter cup of grated ginger, which is a lot. The resultant syrup was strong but it mellowed in a couple of days. If you are planning to server the ale immediately, reduce the amount of ginger.
We all loved this Ginger Ale and its pretty simple to make at home. I would not call it Authentic Ginger Ale, because Naturally Carbonated Ginger Ale is made by fermenting the ginger with sugar and lemon peels but I still have along way to go before I develop a taste for fermented drinks.
But this one actually satisfies the craving for commercially sold Ginger Ale and I am sure we are not buying Canada Dry - Ginger Ale anytime soon!
|Recipe Snapshot: Homemade Ginger Ale |
Serves: 4 serving
(1 serving = 8 oz)
What I used:
Ginger Syrup - 4 tbsp
Club Soda or Seltzer Water - 8 oz
Lime slices and mint leaves for garnish
For the ginger syrup:
Ginger - 1/4 cup, grated (first grate the ginger and then measure it)
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 8 fl oz (1 cup)
Salt - 1/4 tsp (I used table salt)
Lime Juice - Juice of a standard lime which is a little over 2 tbsp of juice
Mint sprigs - 2 (optional)
What I did:
1. To make the ginger syrup, combine the grated ginger, brown sugar, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
2. Take the ginger syrup off the heat and add the lime juice and the mint sprigs and let it cool at room temperature. Then stash it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight. This will mellow the strong ginger flavor.
3. Next day (or later in the day in case you made the syrup in the morning!), discard the mint sprig and strain the mixture and store the syrup in a clean glass container. The syrup will stay good for 10 days in the refrigerator.
1. Pour 4 tablespoon of syrup in a glass. Top with 8 oz of club soda or seltzer water.
2. Add ice cubes and garnish with lime slice and mint.
Notes/Tip: Don't throw away the ginger pulp (you should discard the mint) you strained from the syrup. They taste like candied ginger, the one you get with your sushi platter. Either refrigerate it or freeze it and use it in your favorite Asian inspired marinades or stir fries.
Ginger is one of the world’s oldest and most popular medicinal spices. Ginger is known to greatly aid in digestion and assimilation and is widely regarded to help prevent colds, flu, motion sickness, and vertigo. It can also help to alleviate menstrual cramps, nausea, heart burn, migraines, sore throats, exhaustion, fatigue, and constipation and it is great in providing relief from the stomach flu and food poisoning.
Ginger also contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols and is a powerful painkiller which makes it especially beneficial for those who suffer with joint, muscle, and nerve pain. Ginger has incredible immune-boosting and germ fighting abilities and has even been shown to help provide protection and relief from E.coli, Staph infections, and Candida albicans.