Ginger is one of the oldest spices in the world. As early as 500 BC in China and India it was used as a flavoring and for medical purposes. But in the Western world, ginger had a slightly different career: it was a traditional beverage ingredient.
One of the most popular ginger drinks is ginger ale. We are used to the fact that the word “el” always hides something like beer. In fact, ale can be called any light fermented beverage. Including (and this is just our case) – non-alcoholic.
The idea to ferment ginger belongs to the Americans, and more precisely, to the Detroit pharmacist, James Wernor, who in 1866 installed a fountain with ginger ale in his pharmacy: the drink was positioned as improving overall well-being and especially the state of the digestive system. Over the next few years, Vernor perfected the recipe and as a result got the taste that, as a result, made him a ginger ale brand.
His drink is still being produced.
In a striking way, the story of ginger ale is similar to the story of yogurt: both products were invented by doctors and were initially used as a drug to improve digestion and only after a while came into use as an everyday product.
Ginger ale is easy to make at home and, believe me, it will be tastier than any store-made ginger lemonade. Since ginger ale is a fermented drink, the minimum degree in it is – about the same as that of kvass. You can ferment the mixture longer than in our recipe, then the degree will increase. If for some reason you don’t like the idea of a fermented drink, you can prepare a light version of ale by mixing ginger syrup with sparkling water.
Fermentation of the drink creates bubbles. You need to reduce the pressure in a bottle with a fermenting ale, we strongly recommend that you cook it not in glassware, but in a regular plastic soda bottle.
The drink is good and refreshing on a warm day, and in addition, ginger ale is a component of the delicious Moscow Mule cocktail.
- For ginger syrup:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- For ginger ale:
- 1/8 teaspoon dried yeast
- Ginger Syrup (see above)
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 7 glasses of water
- You will also need:
- 2 liter plastic bottle and funnel
Peel the ginger and rub it. Put ginger, sugar and water in a pan, heat until sugar dissolves, and then mix, turn off the heat. Let the mixture stand for an hour (under the lid!).
Strain the mixture and let it cool. Now you have ginger syrup ready.
Now you can begin the process of making ale. Pour yeast into the bottle, then pour in syrup, lemon juice and water using a funnel.
Close the bottle cap and shake the mixture several times to dissolve the yeast. Put the bottle on a shelf in a place where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Leave to lie for 2-3 days. Once a day, you need to slightly unscrew the cork to reduce pressure. After 2-3 days, the drink is ready: from this moment it should be stored in the refrigerator (if you leave it at room temperature, it will continue to ferment). Serve with ice!