More than anything, making this homemade ginger ale was simply for fun of it. My first “experiment” with infused simple syrups was for the Meyer lemon whiskey sour I made for Carolyn’s engagement party. I figured making a ginger syrup wouldn’t be terribly difficult, either. And it isn’t. But you need a few extra ingredients — in addition to a nice dose of ginger — to achieve the characteristic ginger ale zip. Oh, and a blender (or food processor) — infusion alone doesn’t impart enough gingery goodness. While I’m sure my Canada Dry days aren’t over, this is a fun and tasty D.I.Y. project to use up any extra knobs of ginger laying around. And in case you’re wondering, it’s just as good on its own as it is with a splash of Jameson mixed in.
Homemade Ginger Ale
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Preparation Time: 1 hour
Makes: About 1/2 cup Syrup
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) water
- 1/2 cup (96 grams) granulated white sugar or evaporated cane juice
- 2 packed tablespoons (28 grams) peeled fresh ginger, finely chop
- 3 – 5 whole black peppercorns
- 1 whole clove
- 1 strip (about 1/2″ wide by 3″ long) lemon zest
- 1 quart (4 cups) sparkling water
- Ice, if desired
Make Ginger Syrup:
Combine water through lemon zest in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until it reaches a simmer and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to steep for about 1 hour. Once mixture is at room temperature, transfer to a blender and puree for 1 minute. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl/dish/measuring cup/jar. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week; stir well before using.
Gently stir together 2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) well-stirred, chilled syrup with each cup (8 ounces) sparkling water. Add ice, if desired, and serve immediately!