May 30, 2012

Homemade Ginger Ale for a Heat Wave {Powernap}

Homemade Ginger Ale

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Yesterday we had our first heat wave. It was miserable. In a just a few hours our gorgeous spring-like 70-degree weather was replaced with a sticky 90-degree afternoon. Pushing my daughter to school in the stroller felt like walking through glue, the driveway was suddenly too hot for bare feet. To perk myself up, while she was at school I decided it was time to break out a recipe my mom had shared with me a long time ago, refreshing homemade ginger ale.

I used to only drink ginger ale when I was sick. But after my mom made this for me a couple of years ago I became a regular ginger ale drinker, stuffy nose or no. To make it all you do is stir a simple homemade ginger syrup stirred into plain sparkling water. What she did is freeze the ginger syrup in ice cube trays. GENIUS! That way it is easy to make a large batch of ginger syrup and thaw a cube – exactly one serving – into sparkling water whenever you want. I’ll definitely be sipping this over the weekend as I pull out summer recipes and start strategizing on beating the heat in the kitchen this year. Ice cream for dinner anyone? (Just kidding…or maybe not!)

Recipe

 Homemade Ginger Ale for a Heat Wave

makes about ¾ cup syrup (makes 3 cups Ginger Ale immediately) AND enough to fill a 12-piece ice cube tray

Ingredients

2 cups ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 quart sparkling water

Instructions

1. Place the ginger root, water, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced by half, about 40 minutes.

2. Carefully strain the hot liquid into a heatproof bowl or vessel (I use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup), removing the pieces of ginger root, and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

3. Pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze. To serve, dissolve 1 ice cube (or use ¼ cup of the liquid), into 1 cup of sparkling water. Serve!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This is a delicious, easy drink for the summer heat. While the simmering time may take a bit you can do other things around the house while the liquid reduces. It also means you’ll make enough servings to last a few days! This can also be the base of a great cocktail. Simply add your liquor of choice to each glass!

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time (mostly waiting time)

 

Naptime Reviews

I adore this delicious ginger ale all summer long. Add a cube to a fresh glass of lemonade for Ginger Ale lemonade!

 

  • Paula-bell’alimento

    I’ve never made my own ginger ale, can’t wait to try!  

  • Milisa Armstrong

    My boys will go crazy for this!  

  • http://unsophisticook.com Tara @ Unsophisticook

    This sounds like it would be a fun project to try with the kids this summer!

  • http://gettingfreshonmaui.wordpress.com/ GettingFreshonMaui

    i’ve had a big bag of ginger root in my freezer waiting for a recipe like this to come along- making it right now!  

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  • Annieripp

    Oh I am so in! Going to the grocery store today for ginger root, thanks!

  • Liz

    Ginger ale is, hands down, my favorite nonalcoholic drink. Love the simplicity and cleverness of your mom’s recipe.

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