Make Your Own Naturally-Carbonated Ginger Ale


A small glass of naturally-fermented ginger ale with bubbles.

How to make delicious ginger ale at home


I used to be addicted to a major brand of cola. I kicked my habit on February 11, 2017. Not that I'm counting or anything.


That might not sound like much unless you too have been addicted to cola. If you are/were, you know how hard it is to give it up.


In the past I'd tried to stop drinking cola at home but thought I could still drink it when we went out to eat. I know now that isn't possible, at least for me. I had to do it cold turkey. 


And so far I've been successful. But oh, sometimes I miss those carbonated bubbles.


A small glass of ice and very fizzy ginger ale.


I never managed to get much carbonation in my attempts to brew kombucha, but my natural, homemade ginger ale has never failed to have a fair bit of fizz. 


So this weekend I made a batch of ginger ale that I can sip on when I need "bubbles." Am I strange to crave those bubbles? Maybe. I don't know of anyone else who says that's the part they miss about soft drinks.


Soft drinks used to be good for you


Soft drinks actually began as medicinal drinks to cure ailments such as indigestion, headaches and psychological disorders. 


Eventually those non-FDA-approved "medicinal" ingredients had to be removed from the drinks, but flavored, carbonated beverages continued to gain popularity.


Nowadays commercial soft drinks are made from a list of chemicals that I can't even pronounce, with nothing good in them at all. I have no desire to pour these chemical brews down my throat any more!


Homemade ginger ale is still good for you


On the other side of the coin, ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and that it can help digestion, reduce nausea, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, fight the flu and colds, and can boost the immune system.


Ginger ale is simply ginger, filtered water, sugar and lemon juice. Yes, it does contain sugar, but the amount compared to a can of cola is much, much lower. The drink is then fermented and naturally carbonated.


How to make naturally-carbonated ginger ale


Although I don't use a lot of plastic in the kitchen anymore, this method of making ginger ale uses a 2-liter plastic bottle so you can test the amount of fermentation without worrying about a glass bottle exploding on your counter.


Ingredients

2 inches of fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup filtered water


A food grater with a small piece of ginger.


Grate the ginger as fine as possible. Add ginger and sugar to the water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. 


Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for an hour.


A quart canning jar with ginger tea, cooling to room temperature.


Pour through a fine cloth set over a bowl (I use clothespins to attach a clean handkerchief to my canning funnel), and then squeeze the cloth well to release all the juice. Discard the pulp - I add it to my compost pile.


Let the ginger tea cool to room temperature.


A pile of grated ginger after being boiled and strained out of the ginger tea.


Pour the liquid into the plastic 2-liter bottle, using a funnel.


Add the following to the bottle:

7 cups filtered water
1/8 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp lemon juice


Put the cap on the bottle, shake gently and leave at room temperature for 48 hours. Check the bottle by squeezing; if there isn't any give to the bottle, you might need to refrigerate before 48 hours.


Open the bottle to check the amount of carbonation and refrigerate when it has "enough." 


You can store the bottle of ginger ale in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but open the bottle each day to let out excess carbonation.


A small glass of bubbly ginger ale and lots of ice.


My bottle was ready a little before the usual 48 hours; the plastic bottle was extremely tight and full with no give when I tried to squeeze it. 


When I took the top off {carefully} I was rewarded by a huge "whoosh" and lots and lots of bubbles!


How to store your natural ginger ale


Homemade ginger ale should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within two weeks. Check the bottle daily and "burp" it if the plastic doesn't give at all when you try to squeeze it.


If you like bubbles, try making this naturally-fermented ginger ale at home. 


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A small glass of ginger ale and text: How to make your own naturally-carbonated ginger ale.

How to make natural ginger ale - easy, bubbly, delicious!

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