While I was doing internet searches for ginger information I came upon a site telling how to make gingerale. I couldn't wait to get to try it! This is so fun and easy you need to do it, too. Really, in just a day you can be sipping your own homemade gingerale!
I tried it several different ways. The original recipe on the web was a little bland so I tried again, adding more ginger and some lemon zest. Then I made it with honey replacing the sugar. They were both outstanding. Neither was a clone of grocery store soda, but that's OK with me. The sugar recipe yielded a clearer, stronger ginger taste. The honey recipe gave a rich, complex flavor with the honey balancing the ginger. I liked them both.
Have It Your Way Gingerale
Clean 2-liter plastic soda bottle with cap
1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp baking yeast
2 Tbsp finely grated ginger root
Zest of one lemon, finely chopped
Juice of a whole lemon
Cool, clean, filtered water
Using a funnel, pour the sugar and yeast into the bottle. If you're using honey, don't add the yeast yet. Shake to mix the sugar and yeast.Place the grated ginger, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup and mix well. Add the yeast to this mixture if you're making the honey version.
Pour this slurry through the funnel into the bottle. Rinse the measuring cup with clean water and pour the rinse water into the bottle. Cap and shake to mix well.
Uncap and fill the bottle to the neck with cool, clean, filtered water, leaving about an inch of head space. Securely screw down cap to seal. Shake to dissolve the sugar. Place in a warm spot for 24 to 48 hours, until it feels "hard." If the bottle dents when squeezed, as in the picture, it's not ready. My ginger ale only took 24 hours.
Once the bottle feels hard, place it in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least overnight to chill thoroughly. Open the lid slowly to release excess pressure. Pour through a strainer into an ice-filled cup. When not in use, keep the bottle capped and refrigerated to maintain the fizz.
Note: Don't leave the bottle at room temperature longer than it takes to feel hard. It can explode! Once thoroughly chilled there's little chance of explosion.