Saturday, February 25, 2012

One thing I miss from home is ginger ale.

When my brother and I were kids, my mom would give us the fizzy ginger ale to help settle an upset stomach. Even as I've gotten older, I've relied on this remedy from time to time, especially helpful after a fun night of too many beverages.

Here in Istanbul, it was impossible to find ginger ale until a few months ago. I stumbled across a random promosyon bin filled with bottles of ginger ale at the Macro Center in Akmerkez. Buy 1, get 1 free!

I bought 12 bottles, a few other groceries, and then had to lug them back home on the bus. Whoops!

As soon as I got home, I opened one of the bottles of ginger ale, filled my glass with ice cubes and the bubbly brew, and then took a sip. The familiar taste was there, but the ginger ale was missing the effervescence I wanted. All the bottles later proved to be just as flat.

Lately, I started thinking about how I could make my own ginger ale. I remember a ginger syrup we used to make in some of the restaurants I worked at in the U.S. The recipe was basically a strong simple syrup made with an equal ratio of ingredients.

Fresh ginger + granulated sugar + lemon juice AND topped off with sparkling water or soda water = homemade ginger ale!

My resulting ginger syrup definitely has a ginger kick similar to eating the pickled ginger when you have sushi. It also passes my husband approval test.

Not surprisingly, I'm already thinking of ways we can use this ginger syrup for a cocktail. Ginger mojitos anyone?

Afiyet olsun!
Fizzy homemade ginger ale made at home!
Homemade Ginger Ale

1          c.         (210 g.)            granulated sugar
1          c.         (130 g.)            fresh ginger, chopped small or ground to small chunks in the food processor
1          c.         (240 ml.)          fresh lemon juice

As needed:      sparkling water (I used Uludağ Doğal Zengin Mineralli Su) or soda water

In a medium-sized pot, add the sugar, ginger and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring often. I let my mixture come to a boil and then pulled the pot off the heat.

Let the mixture cool until it is room temperature.

Then, strain the mixture, pressing down on the ginger pieces to extract as much liquid as possible; or strain the mixture through cheesecloth. 
I reserved the cooked ginger and may use it for some other recipes.
The ginger syrup can be used now or stored in a clean container in the refrigerator for later use.

To make a glass of ginger ale:
1/4       c.         (60 ml.)            ginger syrup
3/4       c.         (180 ml.)          sparkling water or soda water
As needed                               ice cubes

You can adjust the amount of sparkling water or soda water to your liking.



Unknown said...

That's so funny you should post about ginger ale as I just saw some for the very first time yesterday in my nearby Carrefour Express! I wonder if it was flat like yours? I'm a diet Coke girl myself so didn't buy it!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i make my own ginger ale all the time. i much prefer it to store bought as it is so much more gingery!

jasna varcakovic said...

My son loves ginger ale...Thanks for sharing!

Joy said...

@Claudia, I guess ginger ale is becoming more popular here then. Surprise, surprise. =)

Joy said...

@jaz, very cool! Do you use a different ratio or different ingredients?

@Jasna, You're welcome! If you make it down the road, please let me know.

jtingermany said...

Joy, Have you tried brewing your own using yeast? Quite different! I followed this recipe:

But I've found that making ginger tea and then using that adds to the ginger-yness.

I haven't tried it, but apparently you can also make cream soda the same way, but substitute vanilla for the ginger...

Joy said...

@JT, thanks for the idea! I've never tried that, but it sounds interesting. I'd definitely be interested in trying the vanilla cream soda. Yum!

Jake said...

Joy, I made Ginger Beer last winter and really enjoyed the process and the result. I don't know how much alcohol it had in it, but it sure was good. Hoping to make it again this spring.
Here's the recipe

Joy said...

@jake, I'd like to give this a try as well. Sounds easy enough. I just need to save some of our 1 L. soda bottles to make my own ginger beer. I'm sure my husband would like it. Thanks for sharing!