Who knew it could be so simple to make ginger ale at home? Here’s an all-natural version, blissfully free of high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives. When I compared this homemade ginger ale to a national brand, it proved unrivaled in spicy, aromatic ginger flavor. Although the ginger syrup recipe makes enough for just four servings, it is easily doubled. Store the remainder in the refrigerator to use whenever you crave a tall, sparkling glass of refreshing ginger ale.
Makes 1 cup/240 ml ginger syrup; enough for 4 drinks
1/2 cup/55 g grated fresh ginger
1 cup/200 g firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup/240 ml water
4 cups/960 ml club soda
1/4 cup/60 ml fresh lime juice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 lime wedges
To make the ginger syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the ginger, brown sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar and infuse the syrup. Remove from the heat and let the ginger steep in the syrup until cool, about 30 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a container with a tight-fitting lid and then cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
To make the ginger ale, fill four 16–fl oz/480-ml glasses two-thirds full of ice. Pour 1/4 cup/60 ml of the syrup, 1 cup/240 ml of the club soda, 1 tbsp of the lime juice, and 1 tsp of the lemon juice into each glass and stir to combine. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and serve immediately.