There are two occasions I indulge in ginger ale: flying and the flu. I can remember when I was sick as a child my mom administering an elixir of homemade chicken soup, saltines, and ginger ale. Who knows which one really worked, but all together, it almost always made me feel some sort of relief. Ginger ale is a pretty common home remedy during times of indigestion or queasy stomachs. And, heck, even if you’re not sick, you really can’t beat that ice cold gingery fizz dancing around your mouth any other day of the week. I’m not quite sure where the ginger ale = flying thing came from with me because I’ve never really had motion sickness, but it’s become a ritual when the drink cart makes its first drive-by and who am I to reconsider my weird tradition now?
My entire family was overcome with the stomach bug a couple of weeks ago and it got me thinking about this kick-a$$ homemade ginger ale we had at Sylvain in New Orleans last December. It was nothing like the ginger ale you get out of that beloved green can, which, although I enjoy, really tastes nothing like ginger as far as I’m concerned. Instead, it’s spicy, refreshing, and reminiscent of the Orient. I did a little Googley-goo and ended up finding Bon Appetit’s recipe. It seemed easy enough and it sure was. The only disappointment was how little it made and quickly we drank it. Next time, I’ll be sure to at least double the recipe . I venture to guess you could refrigerate and/or freeze the ginger syrup from a large batch for later use. I subbed agave nectar for honey because I have a ton of it, but I’m certain either sweetener would work wonderfully. Joe seems to think it would be a refreshing mixer in an adult beverage. Not up my alley, but if it’s up yours, give it a shot.
homemade ginger ale
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup sliced peeled ginger
1/2 cup water
4 cups club soda
Combine agave nectar, ginger and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat , stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Strain syrup into a large pitcher. Add club soda, chopped fresh mint to taste, and ice. Stir gently and serve.