When our first daughter was expecting her first child, she had a bit of nausea that sometimes comes with the hormonal changes of pregnancy. I remembered my own experiences and knew that something sweet can help. I also remembered Mom offering us ginger ale when we had stomachaches as kids so I decided to make a ginger simple syrup that could be added to sparkling water for a homemade version of ginger ale.
What is a simple syrup?
Homemade Ginger Syrup is simply a simple syrup infused with ginger. And a simple syrup is just 2 parts water to one part sugar. You can add herbs or fruits to create any flavor you like.
I used David Lebowitz's version, but if the called-for amount of ginger is too spicy for you, feel free to cut back on it. Likewise, if you want more, feel free to add more!
What kind of sugar to use
I always advocate for organic everything so in this case, I use organic cane sugar. If you want to use white granulated sugar, that's your choice.
How do I prepare the ginger?
You don't have to peel the ginger if you don't want to. In fact, I like the bit of darker color that it gives to the syrup. However, if you want to use the ginger pieces for another purpose, you should probably peel them. The leftover ginger can be added to a batch of marmalade, or patted dry and chopped further, then added to just-churned ice cream or gingersnap cookie dough.
You don't have to be precise with the chop on the ginger. The purpose is to get it small enough that while it simmers with the water and sugar that it imparts plenty of ginger flavor in the process.
Bring chopped ginger to a boil with the sugar and water, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Your home will smell amazing.
Let the ginger cool in the syrup, then strain it out.
How to use the Homemade Ginger Syrup to make ginger Ale
To make a glass of ginger ale, put some ice in a glass ... or Mason jar. Then add ginger syrup to about a quarter or a third of the glass depending on your taste preferences. Try a quarter first, then add more if you like. Top with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to combine and enjoy.
Homemade Ginger Syrup
- 8 ounces chopped ginger (225 grams)
- 4 cups water filtered or spring water preferred
- 2 cups sugar organic cane
- pinch salt
- Cut the ginger into thin slices, then coarsely chop it into smaller pieces.
- Let cool, then strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer. Store the strained syrup in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.
- TO MAKE GINGER ALE: Fill glasses with ice, the pour ginger syrup to ¼-⅓ of the glass (depending on your taste), add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Top with sparkling water or tonic water. Stir gently to mix the ingredients and garnish with a round of citrus or fresh mint.