Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

I had gotten out of the habit of making ginger ale until recently. It's so fun and easy though. With the cold weather we've been having, it was a something fun to do to keep myself busy while being shut up in the house trying to keep warm. I'm glad I finally started making it again. The method and recipe that I use is based on David B. Fankhauser's from his website. I've simply modified it so that it is not as sweet as his, plus I have a couple of flavoring variations.

Here is my basic recipe:
4 Tablespoons of Fresh Grated Ginger Root
1.25 cups of sugar
1/2 t yeast
2 Tablespoons of Herbal Vinegar*
1 gallon plastic container

*I like using Lemongrass herbal vinegar, but you can also use another herbal vinegar of your choice or double the amount of fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice or another herbal vinegar of your choice. The last batch of ginger ale that I made included homemade Fire Cider. Just now I put together a batch with red hot pepper vinegar. I'm curious to see how that turns out. Variety is fun!

Add all the ingredients to the plastic container and fill to 1/2 inch from the top with fresh water and cap. The next step is to let is sit at room temperature and wait until the jug starts to bulge out from the carbonation. During the summer when my house is in the 80's this usually takes less than 24 hours. In this cold weather is has been taking more like 48 hours. When it becomes difficult to squeeze a dent in the container, then it is ready. At this point you need to refrigerate it for about 5 hours. Then it is ready to serve after straining out the ginger.
This drink comes out mildly fizzy and is only approximately 0.4% alcohol.

Thanks to my friend Patricia Shaw for taking this great picture from our lunch yesterday.

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