Ginger ale is a predominantly low-alcohol (0.5-2%) carbonated drink with a very pronounced flavor of ginger. Despite its name, ginger ale’s contents and technology have nothing to do with brewing, where ale is the top-fermenting type of beer.
Ginger ale is served neat and very chilled and that’s why it quenches thirst really well. It can also be served hot like a cup of tea or coffee, which makes it a great remedy for cold and loss of strength.
Thomas Cantrell, who was an American pharmacist, is believed to be the creator of ginger ale. The first recipe was introduced in the 1870s. During Prohibition, ginger ale was one of the top-selling drinks in the US because it secretly contained alcohol.
Classic Ginger Ale
- Ginger root – 5 cm
- Water – 300 ml
- Sugar – 10 tablespoons
- 2 average-sized lemons
- Dry yeast – 3-5 grams
The amount of sugar can be adjusted to your discretion. The minimum amount is 3 tablespoons. You can make a dark ale from a black ginger root with a pronounced flavor. Using a common ginger yields a more balanced drink and is more recommended.
- Wash the ginger root and grate it fine.
- Boil water and take the pot off the stove. Add the ginger and sugar and stir. Squeeze the juice from the lemons.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature (it should be less than 30°C). Add the lemon juice and diluted yeast.
- Decant the mash into a plastic 2-liter bottle (glass vessels shouldn’t be used due to a risk of explosion). Top off with water, leaving just 2-3 cm of free space. Seal the bottle.
- Bring the bottle to a dark place with a temperature of 18-25°C for 24-48 hours.
- When the bottle becomes solid, transfer the ginger ale to a fridge for 3-5 days of aging.
- Gently open the bottle, strain the drink through cheesecloth and bottle for storing. You can try the drink in 2-3 hours.
Homemade alcoholic ale
As a result, you’ll end up with a low-alcohol homemade ginger ale (up to 2% ABV). It can be stored in a fridge for 10 days.
Non-Alcoholic Ginger Ale
It’s much easier to prepare than the previous option because it doesn’t require fermentation. Essentially, it’s a ginger flavored carbonated drink.
- Ginger root – 5-7 cm
- 5-6 lemons
- Peppercorns – 1 tsp
- Water – 2 liters
- Mineral sparkling water – 2 liters
- Sugar – 0.5 kilo
You can use a lime or orange instead of a few lemon—this will add some original flavor hints to your homemade ale. The peppercorns are optional.
- Add grated ginger root and peppercorns to 1 liter of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Strain the decoction through cheesecloth, add 1 liter of water, cook for another 5 minutes, strain, add all sugar, and stir.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemons and mix it with the ginger decoction.
- Mix your homemade ginger ale with strong carbonated water in the ratio of 1:1 before serving.
Non-alcoholic ginger ale