Long time readers will already know that I’m a lover of all things ginger. It’s sort of funny actually, because as a child I hated it. I didn’t like gingersnap biscuits or the ginger ale my Nan would offer when I went to visit, but then I will admit, I was a pretty fussy eater. I also didn’t like mushrooms or any type of seafood, which now that I am older and wiser, I’m learning to love. It seemed like the obvious next step would be to try making my own ginger drinks, since I love them so much. Which brings me to this fabulous recipe for homemade ginger ale, which I discovered on Gourmet.
I am still a little too freaked out by the possibility of exploding bottles to attempt brewing my own ginger beer (yet) but I will get there one day. In the meantime, this ginger ale is ridiculously easy to make and comes together in hours rather days, and you can even spend most of that time doing other things, like catching up on Gossip Girl over the long weekend. Just peel and slice some fresh ginger and simmer on the stove with some water. Turn off the heat and steep for another 20 minutes, add some sugar, strain, cool and drink. That’s it!
I have made this recipe before, when I was visiting Perth earlier this year, but we drank it all before we got to snap a photo. It tasted remarkably similar to the ginger cordial at Bills, which I thought could benefit from just a little more sweetness. This time I think I’ve improved on it, and it’s totally delicious. I like mine with gin, lime wedges, mint and lemonade, but you could try vodka, rum or Pimms if you prefer, perhaps with slices of cucumber or fruit to make a lovely summery drink.
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes 1 1/2 cups (enough for 6-8 drinks)
• 200g chopped, peeled ginger
• 2 cups water
• ¾ cup caster sugar
• 1 litre lemonade
• Gin, lime wedges, mint leaves and lemonade to serve (optional)
Cook ginger in water in a small saucepan at a low simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep, covered for 20 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a heatproof jug, pressing on ginger and then discarding the solids. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Chill syrup until very cold.
To assemble drinks, (the way I like mine) place ice cubes, 30ml gin, lime wedge and mint leaves in a glass. Top with cold ginger syrup to taste and lemonade.