Homemade Ginger Ale

I never knew but I had never tried ginger ale. True ginger ale that is. Ginger ale that is spicy on your tounge and bubbly and earthy all at the same time. In a dusty corner on a neglected shelf sat plastic bottles lined up. Oh wow homemade ginger ale! said my husband of two weeks. I was doubtful but we were on our honeymoon in my husband’s native South Africa and I was game to try anything new. Maybe it was because we had been wine tasting all day in Stellenbosch and would have happily proclaimed any beverage the best I ever had, but I loved it. Fast forward 7 years and I decided to give it a go so I could have that refreshing spicy drink one more time.

It was good! and I got reviews that it tasted just like his mom’s homemade ginger ale. I was brought back to a vineyard with rolling hills on mountains that ran into the sea with rocky cliffs and blowing wind. Having met my husband only one year before, our honeymoon to South Africa seemed and still seems like a fairy tale. For me ginger ale (and wine) is the taste of new love, endless optimism and excitement.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Table spoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brewers yeast or other yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  1. Peel and grate 2 Table spoons ginger
  2. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 3 Table spoons of lemon juice, 2 Tables spoons of grated ginger
  3. Simmer until sugar is dissolved
  4. Strain the ginger out of mixture. I used a sock-like cloth used for straining hops when making beer but you can just use a real sock. Just don’t tell anyone)
  5. Add 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of yeast
  6. Place in a sealed container for 2 days
  7. Place in refrigerator

This will make a little alcohol. That is how you get the carbonation and the more complex flavor. Putting it in the refrigerator after two days will dramatically slow the fermentation but it will not stop it. Be sure to open the container every day to let off the building carbonation. Unlike most carbonated beverages this will re-carbonate after being sealed and has a shelf or more accurately a refrigerator life, of about a week maybe two.

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