Ginger Ale is great to enjoy on a warm afternoon by the pool, as an elixir for the tummy, or to enjoy with your favorite meal. It’s very healthy to drink, is thought to have weight loss benefits, is super easy to make, and tastes wonderful. You have to try this at least once!
Not only is ginger ale a tasty drink to quench your thirst, a shot of rum makes it an awesome cocktail, and ginger syrup is a great addition to several spicy summer drinks.
Ginger root has a strong, spicy flavor. And, for some this may deter you from making a homemade, stronger, version. However, when making homemade ginger ale it’s easy to dilute the strength to to suite your tastes. I’ll show you how to do that as well.
Ginger ale is always in my pantry, for those days someone in the house has a cold, flu, or sore stomach. Not really knowing the benefits or why it made me feel better, for years I thought ginger ale from the store was artificially flavored. But the reason it makes you feel so much better isn’t simply the carbonation, but the real ginger it’s made with.
Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating issues with a sore stomach (gastric distress). In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
One of the most effective uses of ginger is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce joint inflammations. The anti-inflammatory compounds responsible for significantly reducing inflammation are called gingerols. Best for arthritis patients. The root of ginger is best known for this purpose. It does not allow blood vessels to get inflamed and thus it helps increase the flow of blood to the body and cures the pain. Ginger helps in expanding the blood vessels which increases your body heat. This makes your body burn more fat.
How Ginger Helps You Lose Weight
Ginger is known to increase your internal body heat, to increase your metabolism and add to the effects of exercise. Ginger is nearly calorie-free, and when used in cooking or in this case brewed in ginger ale, it can give you a little help with weight loss. In addition to increasing fat loss, ginger may also help a person to feel satiated. Several studies have shown that ginger works as a natural appetite suppressant which is the best way to lose weight. In several guides to juicing you’ll also see ginger used for cleansing purposes, to purge your body of toxins and fatty enzymes.
Elixir, Potion, or Tasty Treat?
If I haven’t totally ruined the fun, by outlining the healthy benefits, perhaps it’s time to just make some of your own homemade ginger ale just to enjoy. You have to try this once because it’s easy to make and very tasty. The ginger ale can be as strong as you’d like – simply dilute it to taste with mineral water or club soda.
First you’re going to start with fresh ginger. Buy a good amount of ginger, so your ale is not weak or you run out. Look for ginger that has smooth light brown skin, and snaps (rather than bends) when you pull it apart. That way you’ll know it’s fresh. Then you’ll need a couple fresh limes, and some sugar. You also need a bottle to keep it fresh – preferably with a rubber top. The rest is easy.
How to Serve
Just poor about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the finished syrup over ice, then pour in 1 cup mineral water, or club soda. More or less ginger syrup can be used, depending on how strong you like it. Add wedge of lime, and enjoy! Adding in 2 oz of rum, rye whiskey, or vodka with possibly some mint leaves goes great too.
Stevia packets can be used, in place of white table sugar. I’ve recommended 2 packets, but you may want to experiment with Stevia first. You can also reduce sugar amount by half a cup if you like to add juice when serving ginger ale. For storage you can use any air-tight bottle, but for long-term storage mason jars work well. Poor into mason jar hot, and seal lid immediately. If vacuum forms you can store in your pantry rather than keeping refrigerated.
- 3 cups fresh ginger root
- ½ cup lime peels, or the peels from 1 fresh lime
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup sugar, or 2 packets Stevia
- Mineral water, or club soda
- Lime wedges
- Peel ginger root and chop into small chunks (doesn't have to be perfect).
- Add ginger root, lime peel and water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the burner down to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add sugar to mixture simmer for 10-15 more minutes until sugar has dissolved and liquid has steamed off to about 4 cups.
- Turn off the burner, cover saucepan, and let this cool.
- Strain out ginger chunks and pour cooled syrup into a bottle or other airtight storage container.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Photo by Oneingredientchef.com.