2000s Recipes + Menus

Homemade Ginger Ale

Makes about1 1/2 cups syrup (enough for 4 to 6 drinks)
  • Active time:10 min
  • Start to finish:3 hr (includes chilling)
June 2009
Carefully simmering fresh ginger in water for a good, long while is the key to deep, rounded flavor. Once you have the ginger syrup on hand, a hankering for ginger ale can be satisfied practically instantly (the drink’s trademark fizz comes from seltzer). For a more traditional take on this zingy cooler, check out the recipe for Homemade Ginger Beer.
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled ginger (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • About 1 qt chilled seltzer or club soda
  • About 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Make Syrup:

  • Cook ginger in water in a small saucepan at a low simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, 20 minutes.
  • Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on ginger and then discarding. Return liquid to saucepan and add sugar and a pinch of salt, then heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Chill syrup in a covered jar until cold.

Assemble drinks:

  • Mix ginger syrup with seltzer and lime juice (start with 1/4 cup syrup and 1 1/2 tsp lime juice per 3/4 cup seltzer, then adjust to taste).
Cooks’ note: Ginger syrup keeps, chilled, 1 week.
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