A friend on facebook asked if anyone liked ginger ale. I’ve always wanted to try making it, and so given a spare moment, thought, “Why not now?”
Not bad for a first time, only took about 30 minutes or so. I have hopes in the future to do a naturally carbonated version (or two), but tonight I cheated and used the syrup method, with club soda. Didn’t pull it off as well as I might have hoped, so I think it is a bit under-carbonated…but we’ll get to that.
I started with a recipe over at wikihow. I’m in no way endorsing the site or any of its ads… And with that out of the way, I did “modify” the recipe. That recipe is really geared around individual glasses, and fairly small ones in my mind. I wanted a solid 2Q worth to share with friends tomorrow morning. That meant calculating out the right portions.
Basically, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of ginger water : 1/3 cup sugar syrup : 1/2 cup club soda. 2Q is 8 cups, so do the math, and that is multiplying the recipe by 6. So, 3 cups of ginger water, 2 cups of sugar water and 3 cups of club soda. But…but…
If you check out the recipe, it calls for 2 cups of water and 1 cup of peeled and diced ginger. And that is just not going to cut it here. Not to mention that we need 2 cups of sugar syrup, and that is not going to be the end result of 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. So we wing it a bit. Guesstimate. Approximate. I started by throwing 3 cups of water in one pan and 1.5 cups water in another, and setting them on to boil. To the former I added 1.5 cups of peeled and diced ginger. To the later I added 1.5 cups of sugar. And then we wait for a boil to begin.
Boil on, I let the ginger boil at a slightly lower heat for 5 minutes, and then steep it for 20 off the heat. The syrup, I just take it off once the sugar is completely dissolved. Once it was cooled a bit I added it to the 2Q jug sitting waiting, with a small dribble of lemon juice. Once the 20 minutes were up, I strained and added the ginger water. And finally, I measured out the 3 cups of club soda, adding it to the top.
So first, I think there is a tad too much lemon. Better luck next time. Second, don’t measure your club soda before putting it in the glass. Wing it and trust your vision. Because I think I lost a lot of bubble in the process, sort of defeating the purpose a bit. Then again, I didn’t want to sample too much, so maybe it was just the limited ginger ale, mostly still warm, over ice to cool a bit. Maybe chilled the experience will be better.
Of course, it still tastes decent. There is that definite ginger tickle/burn on the edges of the tongue. So we’ll just wait and see in the morning.
Before Club Soda
After Club Soda
Kim decided to try it and did so without ice. She then proceeded to remark on how much of a bite it had (still noting that it was very good). She forced me to try some more, without ice this time, so still slightly warm. The burn goes all the way down to the lungs, but the taste is quite good. Apparently the ice just watered it down too much when I sampled. So, yay!