Last week’s label reading exercise for my Menu for the Future discussion group brought me face to face with a the truth about my ginger ale. A truth that I knew all along, but had conveniently put out of my mind. My Canada Dry Ginger Ale—that I’ve depended on for several months to deal with an often queasy stomach—is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Of course it is.
Oh dear. With the label staring right at me, and just home from a rich discussion about the dangers of high-fructose corn syrup, I knew I needed another option.
Making my own ginger ale had not occurred to me, so much thanks to Debbie from A Loving Path for sharing her recipe with me.
Ginger root is an ancient, trusted remedy for nausea, as well as an overall aid to digestion and anti-inflammatory. Use of ginger root medicinally may even reduce the joint pain of arthritis. In Chinese medicine, ginger is considered a “warming” food and is used to stimulate circulation. And, it tastes good.
Sipping ginger ale as a child always made me feel better. Toting a bag of ginger snaps along on tipsy whale-watching boats always seemed to keep the flock of children (and adults) from getting seasick. More recently, keeping a small supply of candied ginger and some ginger ale on hand helps me get through some rough days. I need no convincing on the medicinal benefits of ginger—just a way to shake the Canada Dry habit, once and for all.
Filled with hope, I gave the recipe a try.
Fresh, organic ginger root, organic sugar and filtered water.
This recipe is appealing, in part, because it circumvents a slower process of developing carbonation (often done through the addition of yeast) by creating ginger ale the soda fountain way—simply adding ginger syrup to club soda. The resulting beverage is fresh and zingy, with not too much sweetness. It is, however, a far cry from the old familiar green can. It’ll take some getting used to, for sure.
Change is hard.
With a bottle of ginger syrup in the fridge, I’ll be mixing my ginger ale at home for a couple of weeks, at least. Using the syrup in other ways, for example, stirring into a mild cup of green tea for a nice ginger blend, will be an added bonus. Perhaps next time around, I’ll be ready for more carbonation adventure and will try a different recipe.
- 1/2 cup grated, fresh ginger root
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups filtered water
Simmer the grated ginger, sugar and water in a sauce pan for about nine minutes. Cool and strain into a glass jar or bottle. Combine about 1/3 cup of ginger syrup with a glass of soda water to enjoy your own version of soda fountain ginger ale.
Have you tried making a carbonated beverage at home by some other method? How did you do it?