A tall, refreshing glass of ginger ale is a fantastic drink, and it's surprisingly easy to make at home. Ginger ale is, quite simply, carbonated water sweetened and flavored with ginger-infused syrup. That really is it, and it's one of the easiest homemade sodas you can mix up. If you are a true fan of ginger ale, you'll also find that this is more economical than store-bought options.
The syrup in this recipe uses a good amount of fresh ginger along with a little lemon peel, which gives it a nice kick. Many store-bought ginger ales don't use any fresh ginger, making this homemade version a bit healthier and more flavorful.
Once you have the syrup, all you have to do is add cold club soda and your ginger ale is ready. The syrup will keep for a week in the fridge—just add soda and enjoy. This recipe is a great springboard for so many beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups ginger (fresh, peeled, and chopped)
- 3 strips lemon peel (about 4 inches each; yellow part only)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (white)
- 3 quarts club soda (chilled)
Gather the ingredients.
In a 4-quart saucepan, place the water, ginger, and lemon peel. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Add the sugar, stirring constantly, and continue to boil until reduced to 3 cups (about 15 minutes).
Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in the ginger syrup to separate the solids from liquids. Discard the lemon peel. The strained, cooked ginger pieces can be reserved for other uses like vanilla ice cream or yogurt if desired.
Allow the ginger simple syrup to cool before pouring into a glass container. Seal it tightly and chill for at least 1 hour until it's cold. You can also store it for up to one week in the fridge.
When ready to serve, mix 1/4 cup ginger simple syrup with 1 cup cold club soda per serving and pour over ice. Additional ginger syrup or sugar may be added to sweeten it to taste.
- Seltzer and sparkling mineral water are essentially the same as club soda, though the latter has a few mineral additives. Feel free to sub any unflavored carbonated water for the same result.
- Avoid using actual sodas like Sprite or Pepsi in place of the club soda, as this defeats the purpose of making your own ginger ale and the end product will be much too sweet.
- Use your ginger syrup to sweeten other beverages like hot or iced tea or to spice up a cup of hot cocoa.
- Ginger simple syrups are a crucial ingredient to many spiked drinks, too, like this spin on the Moscow mule or a German Jägermeister cocktail.
- Add dimension to your ginger syrup by including herbs and spices. Try adding fresh mint leaves or a cinnamon stick to the boiling water alongside the ginger and lemon.
- Substitute half of the white sugar for brown sugar to create a rich syrup with a warm winter feel.