How to Make Naturally-Carbonated Ginger Ale

How to make naturally-fermented ginger ale

I used to be addicted to a major brand of cola. I've been "clean" since February 11th. 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, how I miss those carbonated bubbles.

This ginger ale is naturally carbonated with lots of fizz!

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 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!

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.

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 the bottle exploding on your counter.

Ginger Ale

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

Grate the ginger and add to the filtered water and sugar.

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.

Strain the ginger tea and let cool 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. Add the pulp to your compost pile. Let the "tea" cool to room temperature.

Squeeze the ginger to release all the juice
The spent ginger can be added to the compost pile.

Pour the liquid into the plastic bottle, using a funnel. Add:
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 in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but open the bottle each day to let out excess carbonation.

Glass of bubbly ginger ale

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! It went into the refrigerator and I've had a small glass of bubbly ginger ale almost each day at lunch time.

Homemade ginger ale should be 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.

Success once again! If you like bubbles, try making this naturally-fermented ginger ale.

How to make naturally-carbonated ginger ale from real ginger; no artificial ingredients and it's delicious!

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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