Ginger Beer (Ale)

March 24, 2008

Ginger Beer or Ale, is one of those beverages I remember enjoying while playing on the neighborhood streets of Detroit back in the 80’s. I recently had a craving for the spicy cool beverage but didn’t want to waste time with store bought brands. I thought, “why not just make it myself”? If you like Ginger Ale, as much as I do, here is a simple recipe of how to make it. The idea of this recipe is to create a Ginger Simple Syrup then topping that off with soda/sparkling water as you serve it. This will allow for a fresh, sparkling glass of Ginger Ale every time.

Ginger Beer (Ale)

Sauce Pan
Vegetable Peeler
5 Cups of Water
3 Cups of Sugar
3½ Cups of Grated Ginger Root
Food Processor or Box Grater
Mesh Strainer or Sieve
1 Bunch of fresh Mint leaves
Lemon peel from 3 Lemons
Juice of 3 Lemons
Soda Water

I usually start with the labor intensive stuff first, just to get it out of the way to set aside. Grate about 3½ cups of Ginger Root and set aside in a bowl. Combine that with your 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves. Then, take your vegetable peeler and peel just the skin of three lemons. Make sure not to peel into the white area or pith of the lemon. This area has a bitter taste and you don’t want that in your ginger ale simple syrup mixture; most of the lemon flavor comes from the peel or zest. Add the lemon peels to your bowl and mix them up with a wooden spoon.

Next, add 5 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to your sauce pan. Add your ginger, mint and lemon peel mixture to your sugar/water mixture and simmer over low heat(do not allow mixture to boil) for about 1 hour, stirring ever so often. The low heat allows the ginger, mint and lemon peels to steep, thus releasing the spicy-minty-lemon flavors into the simple syrup. After 1 hour, allow the mixture to cool, because you’ll need to strain it into a pitcher and it wouldn’t be fun if the Ginger Simple Syrup was hot and you tried to pour (ouch!). Use a mesh strainer or Sieve to strain the simple syrup into a pitcher and discard the left-over pulp. Next, squeeze the juice of the 3 lemons you peeled into the mixture and stir. Store your fresh batch of Ginger Simple syrup in the fridge and now you’re just half way to having a nice glass of Ginger Ale.

Pour however much of the Ginger Simple Syrup in a glass and top it off with ice and sparkling or soda water and serve with a wedge of lemon or if you have any extra sprigs of mint, use that as a garnish. To ensure that you always have a fresh glass of Ginger Ale, keep on hand small bottles or half liters of soda/sparkling water. There is nothing worse than having flat Ginger Ale…well there are worse things, but if you want to enjoy this recipe, better be on the safe side and always have freshly fizzy soda/sparkling water. It actually doesn’t taste bad with Pierre water. Enjoy!!!

One Response to “Ginger Beer (Ale)”

  1. thinkpinkradio Says:

    this sounds labor intensive but totally worth it!

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