Iced, cold ginger ale on a hot summer day is a wonderful refresher especially when you make it yourself with real, fresh ginger! Ginger is actually an herb and can be bought either fresh, dried or powdered. The medicinal values of this “spice” have been used for centuries by many cultures—not only does it add a zing to many Asian and Indian dishes but it has many therapeutic benefits, as well.
Ginger is a popular herbal remedy and preventative for stomach issues like nausea, dizziness, motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas and diarrhea. Because ginger contains gingerols, a potent anti-inflammatory, it has been shown to reduce inflammation and ease menstrual pain, arthritic pain muscle soreness, respiratory tract infections, cough and bronchitis. Ayurvedic texts claims that ginger has aphrodisiac properties. There have been studies that indicate that ginger may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells and be capable of killing ovarian cancer cells. Every slice of ginger contains 18 amino acids and various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, iron and Vitamin C.
I’ve always been a fan of ginger ale but most commercial brands use an artificial ginger flavor or very little natural ginger with high fructose corn syrup. In pursuit of a ginger ale that is more natural, healthy and authentic, I formulated the following recipe. The result was delicious and nicely spiced. I would imagine that it would be a perfect mixer with juice, beer or various liquors. Adding a slice of fresh watermelon, pineapple, strawberries or peach would be just the thing on the hottest of summer afternoons.
Home Made Ginger Ale
Fresh Ginger root (I used 2 roots to make 2-3 cups of ginger slices)
Sparkling water, carbonated mineral water or club soda
1. Peel ginger roots, gently scraping off the peel with a peeler, knife or back of spoon
2. Slice into quarter sized discs
3. Measure out 2 cups of ginger slices. If you have less, measure what you have and note the amount because this will determine the water measurement
4. Place ginger slices in medium pot
5. Add water: 2 parts water to 1 part ginger (if you have 2 cups of ginger, add 4 cups of water)
6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes
7. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour
8. Strain and keep liquid, discard ginger slices
9. Measure 2 cups of ginger liquid and add 1/2 agave syrup. Mix together completely.
10. Put in refrigerator and cool completely.
11. In tall glass filled with ice, pour 1/4 cup of ginger/agave liquid, 3/4 cup of sparkling water.
12. Squeeze fresh lime juice.
Note: Depending on your taste and the spiciness of the ginger liquid, adjust the sparkling water added
Optional: Add a slice of watermelon, peach, pineapple or strawberries for fruity flavor
Ginger root hot tea is also wonderful for taste and health benefits—check out our previous post on how to make your own hot ginger tea from from fresh ginger.