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May 19, 2009 08:58 PM

Homemade ginger ale

The NY TImes just posted a recipe for ginger ale ( It looks awesome and I look forward to trying it especially in the hot summer months. The recipe suggests making a ginger syrup if making a large quantity by dissolving 3/4c sugar in 1 c ginger juice. Does anyone know how long this syrup would last in the fridge? Can it be frozen in an ice cube tray?

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  1. I don't know but I'm going to try that!

    1. We use our juicer to juice ginger root all the time. I drink green tea, honey and a couple of teaspoons of the juice in it every morning (for health benefits). I know the pure, raw juice will keep - in a tightly covered glass jar - for a couple of weeks, or so.....but with the sugar added, I don't know. Think that ginger syrup would be more perishable than plain extracted juice.

      Freezing sounds like a good idea, since the plain root can be frozen. Guess the final answer would take a bit of experimenting on your part.

      1. I finally got around to making some home made gingerale this weekend. It was the tastiest, most refreshing drink (aside from sangria) that I've had in a long long time. I didn't use the NYT recipe, instead I followed the one from the Amateur Gourmet blog.

        I made a quart of ginger syrup and it didn't last for more than a few days! Now I know I won't have to worry about freezing the syrup after all. :-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Green Omnivore

          The Amateur Gourmet's recipe is Jean-George Vongerichten"s from "Cooking At Home With A Four-Star Chef." I've been making if for ages and it's fantastic. Most often, I just use the ginger, sugar, and water to make the ginger syrup. It's great with the hit of hot chile too, and the lemon grass, if you can get it, but neither the chile nor the lemongrass are necessary for a delicious homemade soda.

          And it's certainly easy enough to play with your own variations. One I particularly like is to bruise a couple of fresh mint leaves and add that to the syrup/seltzer mixture. Then, I really like fresh mint.

          I did a birthday dinner for a friend once, and included the ginger syrup and seltzer in the bar set-up for make-your-own ginger ale. One guest declared that homemade ginger ale alone was worth the trek from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Brooklyn. Now, that's quite an endorsement from someone who wasn't sure there was enough oxygen in Brooklyn to sustain life.

          1. re: Old Spice

            Oh that's right, it is JG Vongerichten's recipe. I just remembered reading the AG blog posting. I just made another batch of ginger syrup and remembered the bit about the mint from your post. Instead of bruising a few for the drink, I threw in a bunch of minced mint leaves into the pot of ginger syrup. (I'm a bit of a scatterbrain these days). This drink really hits the spot on a hot summer day!

        2. Makes me think of the episode of "The Simpsons" when Marge made Lisa homeade soda for her school dance. "It's a little thick, but the price is right. "

          1. Ginger ale was also featured in a Good Eats episode.


            Instead of buying soda water, you let the yeast make the carbonation for you.

            3 Replies
            1. re: zfalcon

              That's a neat idea. Have you tried the recipe? I wonder if the yeast would cloud the gingerale or if there's any residue at the bottom of the bottle.

              1. re: zfalcon

                That's ginger beer, rather than ginger ale. It is cloudy.

                Here's a site with a lot of similar old recipes- I sort of played it by ear and used an absolute ton of ginger (like a pound in around a gallon of water), and I still think it could have used more. The first attempt was just horrible- I sweetened to taste, then let it ferment, so a lot of the sugar was consumed. We added more sugar to the bottles and it was decent. I also used my immersion blender to grind the ginger when it was steeping.


                1. re: Coconuts

                  There is big difference between ginger ale and ginger beer. Came across a new site this week with an old fashioned ginger beer recipe and ginger beer plant
                  Not much there yet but they are basic recipes.