About the Recipe
This homemade ginger ale is super refreshing and simple to prepare, made with just 3 ingredients – all natural with unrefined sugars – and several flavor variations!
For the concentrated ginger water (this will yield about 4 cups/1 l)
3.1 oz ginger 1 cup chopped
5 cups water
For the ginger ale
1 cup concentrated ginger water
2 cups sparkling water or club soda or seltzer
1/4 cup honey or agave, maple; OR use granulated sugar like raw cane sugar, (add to warm ginger water) OR make sugar-free with erythritol/xylitol, etc.
1/2 lemon 1.5-2 tablespoon fresh juice; OR lime juice
WHAT IS GINGER ALE?
Ginger ale, despite its name, is alcohol-free. Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink originating in 1850s Ireland and made more popular in Canada in the early 1900s. There are two main types of ginger ale. The first is the “golden style” and the second is the “dry style” (also called the “pale style”).
Golden style is made with the process of fermentation (like kombucha). It produces a deep honey-golden color and strong ginger flavor, sweet to the taste, and with natural yeast carbonation.
In comparison, dry ginger ale is a mixture of ginger extract/flavoring with soda water and is far paler. In many commercial versions, it combines carbonated water with ginger flavoring (natural or artificial) and sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The ginger flavoring itself may also contain spices, fruits, and ingredients such as lemon/lime, citric acid, etc.
For this homemade ginger ale recipe, I’m preparing a homemade version of dry ginger ale with real ginger and an unrefined sweetener.
IS GINGER ALE GOOD FOR YOU?
Ginger is beneficial in many ways, with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. Ginger ale is a popular remedy for indigestion, motion sickness, and sore throats. It also has several other benefits.
You can make your own ginger ale at home, adjusting the amount of ginger and sugar to your taste. This is a healthy, natural beverage.
You only need three ingredients and a few cups of water for this homemade ginger ale with real ginger.
CONCENTRATED GINGER WATER
Ginger: You’ll need plenty of fresh ginger root for this.
Water: I like to use filtered water, but tap water is fine too.
TO MAKE GINGER ALE
Sparkling water: You can use sparkling water, club soda, or seltzer. You may also be able to use a soda stream machine to carbonate the beverage.
Sweetener: I use honey, but you could use other granulated (like raw cane sugar) or liquid (like agave) options. It’s also possible to use a simple syrup made with your sugar of choice (refined, unrefined, or even sugar-free).
For a sugar-free ginger ale recipe, use your favorite sugar-free sweetener like erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
Lemon juice: Meyer lemons are excellent for their sweeter flavor. However, any lemon will work. Lime juice will also work.
OPTIONAL ADD-INS AND VARIATIONS
There are several ways you can experiment with adding extra flavor to this homemade ginger ale recipe. The easiest way to do this is to add extra ingredients to the ginger water while it simmers. A few ideas include:
Herbs: Some mint, basil, lavender, or rosemary would also work well to infuse the homemade ginger ale with extra flavor. I like to serve mine with a few mint leaves in the glass.
Green tea: With either loose leaves or tea bags. Add them to the ginger water infusion in the last 5 minutes, then remove.
Berries: Blackberries, raspberries, etc. Add a large handful to the pan while simmering and gently mash to extract flavor.
Peach: Use a regular or white peach and allow it to simmer in the ginger water.
Cranberry: Use some cranberry juice in place of water in the ginger water.
Spices: There are several spices you could experiment with, such as cardamom, ground clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, etc. You could also add a pinch of turmeric (with freshly cracked black pepper) or cayenne to boost the health benefits.
HOW TO MAKE GINGER ALE?
STEP 1: PREPARE THE CONCENTRATED GINGER WATER
First, peel and chop the ginger into small disks/chunks. (For a more concentrated flavor, mince or grate the ginger.)
Transfer the ginger and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
Then, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then strain it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the ginger solids. (At this point, you’ll have about 4 cups of concentrated ginger water. You can use it all now OR freeze some for later usage.)
STEP 2: ASSEMBLE THE HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
First, juice the lemon.
Then, combine all the ingredients for the homemade ginger ale into a large pitcher and stir.
Finally, give it a taste and adjust any elements (sweetener, lemon, ginger water, water) to your liking.
WHAT IS THE GINGER ALE RATIO?
I recommend using a 1:2 ratio of ginger water to club soda/sparkling water. Then sweeten the homemade ginger ale to taste and add a splash of lemon or lime juice.
Make ahead: You can prepare the ginger water concentrate in advance. Store it for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer. I like to portion it out into a large silicone ice cube tray. I can then defrost just enough for a glass of ginger ale each time.
Store: Ultimately, the ginger ale stores for as long as the carbonation lasts and should be kept in the fridge.
Does ginger ale have caffeine?
No, this recipe is 100% caffeine-free. All you get is a refreshing ginger taste.
Is ginger ale good for acid reflux?
While ginger may help with several gastro-intestinal issues, ginger ale does not have the same effect. This is because carbonated beverages can increase gastric pressure and cause acid reflux to worsen. Instead, I recommend trying ginger tea.
Does ginger ale help with nausea?
This depends on the amount of ginger used in the beverage. That’s the key ingredient linked to nausea relief and other stomach calming benefits. In this case, it may help.However, ginger tea or a ginger juice blend will likely be a better option.
TOP TIPS AND NOTES
Adjust the ratios to taste. Add more or less ginger water, sweetener, lemon, etc., to tweak the homemade ginger ale recipe to your taste. Then take a note to know for next time.
“Cheat” version: You can somewhat simplify the process by turning the ginger water into a ginger syrup (with the addition of the sugar). That can then simply be mixed with the carbonated water and served with a lemon or lime wedge; voila! Note that the ratio of syrup to carbonated water will change.
Using leftover ginger solids: Rather than discarding them, you could add them to baked goods, smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, or even turned into candied ginger.