Homemade Ginger Ale

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Dear students, please welcome Janet@Simply So Good, who writes a darn good blog. And takes pretty pictures, too. This post on making your own ginger ale caught the Damsel’s eye because at the New Old School, that’s one of our favorite things…making it yourself.

Especially when it’s something old-fashioned and awesome.

The Damsel would like to say that she feels all nice and cozy inside knowing that she can make ginger ale at will, even during Armageddon. Plus she is always happy to see a recipe using fresh mint, since that particular plant has overrun the cottage.

Today: the cottage. Tomorrow: the world.

I’m sure you have been wondering why I haven’t posted much during this past month.

1. Youth Conference.
2. Girls Camp.

Need I say more?

I always have more to say.

My definition of camping is: “Doing the same thing I do at home under adverse conditions.” I seriously hate camping. I love girls camp, however. I know it doesn’t make any sense. I guess I just love hanging out with 32 girls between the ages of 12 & 18. LOVE THEM!

What I hate about camping is everything else. Seriously. I was hot and dirty for 3.2 days. After the first night I woke up to my bladder around 5:00 a.m. I unzipped my sleeping bag. Ugh. What is that smell? Oh great; it’s ME! The smell only intensified with each day. Why on earth would they lock up the showers????

Huh?? Please…really? You have showers, but keep them locked?

One other gripe: Banning the shaving cream war? Please…really? I lived for the shaving cream war! I purchased a “Super Soaker CPS 3000″ for the shaving cream war 10 years ago. I was THE warrior. I was only taken down once…maybe twice.

Thank goodness it’s over and will only stand as a wonderful memory. I’m back, showered and ready to blog.

My number two college son started making his own ginger ale syrup years ago. It’s fabulous and so refreshing during the summer months. It’s easy to make. I think you’ll love it.

You will need a boat-load of fresh ginger, sugar, water, limes and a bit of mint, which is optional, but you really shouldn’t omit it.

Peel the ginger. I just use a pairing knife and gently scrape the skin off.

Slice the ginger. You will need two cups of sliced, peeled ginger.

Place the ginger into a medium-sized sauce pan.

Add 2 cups of water.

Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

Let simmer for five minutes.

Cover with a lid and let the mixture steep or stand for 1 hour.

After one hour, remove the lid and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the remaining ginger.

Pour the liquid back into the same sauce pan.

Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and place over low heat.

Warm the syrup just until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.

Pour the cooled syrup into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Make sure the syrup is nice and cold before making the ginger ale.

Let’s make ginger ale. Please note this recipe is pretty much based on taste. I’ll give you a few guidelines, but feel free to adjust to make your ginger ale to your liking.

You will need chilled sparkling water, limes, fresh mint, ginger syrup and ice.

A good ratio to use is: one part lime juice, two parts ginger syrup and three parts sparkling water.

For an eight ounce glass of ginger ale, squeeze 1/2 of a lime into a glass.

I like to bruise the mint a bit to release the flavors. I just pound the leaves a few times.

Add the mint to the lime juice.

Oh, let me mention the use of FRESH-squeezed lime juice. Don’t go and buy that reconstituted crapola lime juice…please.

Add the ginger syrup. About 1/4 cup.

Now add the sparkling water to fill the glass. Leave room for ice.

Just give the drink a stir to blend all of the liquids.

Now you can add the ice.

Top the ginger ale with a sprig of mint and a straw.

Sip.

Everyone is going to be so impressed.

Homemade Ginger Ale

2 cups peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large bottle of sparkling water
fresh limes
fresh mint leaves

To make the Ginger syrup: In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat the water and ginger until it reaches a low simmer. Simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and cover.Let stand for 1 hour.

After one hour, drain the juices through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the ginger pieces. Let cool then place in a jar and refrigerate.

To make the Ginger Ale: In a tall glass, add 1 part lime juice (about 1/2 lime per glass), 2 parts ginger syrup, and 3 parts sparkling water. Stir to combine the liquids. Fill glass with ice. If desired, add fresh mint.

Adjust to your liking. I always end up adding more lime juice.

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