I gave up pop or soda (depending on the region you hail from) years ago because of my running, but even when I was a kid, ginger ale was never a huge part of my diet. However, after sampling ginger beer (alcoholic, unlike non-alcoholic ginger ale) while traveling in Poland, I started sampling a few small niche producers of ginger ale, such as Reed’s. However, they’re expensive and were often too sweet for my tastes. Then I found recipes online for making your own. Variations on this recipe have been written about a lot on the web; the one that I originally made is available here, but versions can be found all over, even one at Epicurious.com.
After several batches I settled on lime instead of lemon (this recipe will work with either, so try them both and see which you like best), and found that pureeing the ginger with a few batches of water really extracted the flavor, but let me strain out the fibers for a pulp-free end result. Most blenders will accept a mason jar, which is perfect for this small batch pureeing, so that’s what I recommend using. If your blender has a non-standard size/shape just use the jar that comes with it. This is a great recipe for making with kids because they get to see the “magic” of a beverage becoming carbonated, plus it can be a great introduction to basic scientific concepts. I think it’s great on its own or as a mixer for various cocktails.
Homemade Ginger Ale with Lime
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1-2 days
- 1 lime
- 2-inch chunk fresh ginger, sliced against the fibers
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Filter water
- Using a microplane remove the zest from the lime and add it to a mason jar. Juice the nude lime and add the juice to the jar along with slices of ginger. Fill the jar about 3/4 full with filtered water. Hook your jar into your blender and use the liquefy option to puree the mixture for about 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar and yeast to the 2 liter bottle using a funnel. Strain the juice that comes out of the jar and add it to the bottle. Put the pulp back into the jar and fill again 3/4 full with water. Puree for another 30 seconds. Strain and add the juice to the bottle, repeat this step one more time.
- Cap the bottle and shake well. Open the bottle back up and fill it until there’s only about 1 inch of empty space at the top of the bottle and then cap tightly. Place in a warm location for 24 to 48 hours (I suggest in the bathtub with the curtained closed). Don’t let it sit at room temperature longer than necessary because he excess pressure may cause it to burst out when opened or maybe cause the bottle to explode! To test to see if it’s carbonated enough, squeeze the bottle forcefully with your thumb. If it dents in, it’s not ready.
- When it’s carbonated, move it to the refrigerator and leave it there, closed, for at least 4 hours until well chilled. Open and enjoy.