Any Trader Joe's fans? I think the first time I had a ginger ale was on a flight since I don't drink any sodas, my husband suggested me to try ginger ale and I just loved the taste. I was looking for something similar since then and my search stopped at Trader Joe's. I love their Reed's Extra Ginger Brew which is non-alcoholic.
Unfortunately, the nearest Trader Joe's from our home is more than an hour away so I needed a quick fix for my ginger ale. I thought of making this recipe for days when I am out of my original Ginger Brew.
It tastes exactly the same and I have to tried to recreate the recipe as shown below. Its super easy and simple to make.
The pdf version of this recipe is at the end of this blog post.
Ingredients (4 servings)
1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar (You can use Honey as an alternate- Check notes)
1 cup water
1. Simmer ginger in water, strain: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook ginger in water, partially covered, 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, 20 minutes.
2. Make simple syrup: In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.
3. Assemble: Make individual (tall) glasses of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge to each glass.
Here's an easy way to peel ginger with spoon that my friend showed me.
Can I add spices to this drink?
Yes, you can definitely add cardamom and cloves to make this drink more spicy and its one of my favorite way to spice up ginger ale. For this particular recipe, I add 4 pods of cardamom or 2 tsp of cardamom powder and 4 cloves. You can add less or more based on your preference.
Does the simple syrup have to become thick, or does the sugar just have to dissolve?
The sugar just needs to dissolve. The "syrup" is not the consistency of what we are used to when thinking about the word syrup.
Can I make a large batch of ginger syrup for future use?
I have this recipe: 1L water 1.5kg Sugar 350Gr Ginger
Blend the water with the ginger for around 2 minutes. Strain with a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
Then in a pot throw all the ingredients, bring to boil, keep it like that for 5 minutes and then let it go to room temperature.
Mix that spicy concentrated ginger syrup with club soda to taste.
Can I use dried ground ginger?
I wouldn't recommend using dry ground ginger. It'll give you a weak favor and gritty texture. Dried whole ginger might work, but it's probably just as easy to find fresh ginger root, and that's what'll make this drink so good!
Why can't I add Sugar directly to the ginger mix and boil them together?
The reason we make separate sugar syrup is so we can control the sweetness of each individual's drink.
Another advantage I see in not adding sugar to the ginger water directly is that we lose the sugar along with ginger water while filtering the ginger water. So better to have the ginger water and sugar syrup separate and the mix proportionately as needed
Do you have sugar free alternative?
Yes, you can use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar syrup. The taste is different but in a good way. Definitely use honey once your ginger drink is cooled down while making the drink and you don't even need to make sugar syrup ahead of time.
Add 2-3 tbsp of honey or maple syrup for each drink depending on the sweetness preference of an individual. Remember always start with 2 tbsps. and then increase the content of sweetener.