Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Your Daughter's Give You Ginger, Make Ginger Ale!

Ginger.  I have been on a ginger kick recently and really enjoy the stuff.  When I was younger, I wasn't crazy about ginger, but always loved ginger ale.  I think that is so because it was a "special occasion" drink in our house.  Well, that and I would pretend it was champagne when I was really little.  Now that I am not so little, I prefer ginger ale over champagne!  How is that for oddities!

 My latest treat started out because Ashley found some beautiful and large ginger at the open air market,  Haymarket in Boston.  And little did the vendor's realize that when they met Ashley, they met their match. Ashley saw the ginger for sale at $1 a pound and was thrilled, knowing that I keep ginger in the freezer until I use it.  So, she was determined to get a pound of ginger for her dollar.  The vendor challenged her by telling her to pick her own pound of ginger from his display.  Ashley never met a challenge she doesn't attack with all her might and just hearing her tell me the story, I knew what was coming next.
She wasn't sure how much ginger translated into a pound, so she picked up a pound weight and then rooted around for some ginger that was equal weight.  And, by the way, 1 pound of ginger is a LOT of ginger.  Ashley was met with looks of doubt, thinking she selected more than her agreed upon pound.  But, when the vendor weighed it, he found that she was right on the money!
Ashley was pleased with herself and I was pleased to be given some beautiful ginger!
I decided to make ginger syrup that I could combine with seltzer water and make my own ginger ale.
Since, I store ginger in the freezer, all I had to do is slice off the skin and then slice the naked ginger into coins.  I boiled these coins with equal parts sugar and water, then strained the mixture. Delicious.
Oh - the longer the ginger steeps in the syrup, the spicier the syrup will be.  20 minutes creates a moderately spicy infusion.  30 minutes will put hair on your chest.
Homemade Ginger Ale with Light Syrup
 After I made the first batch, I still had plenty of ginger left over, so I went back and made a second batch using brown sugar instead of white sugar.  The flavor was a little more deep and I think, a little better.
Homemade Ginger Ale with Golden Syrup
Try for yourself and see!

Homemade Ginger Ale Syrup
2 cups sugar (white or brown or any combination of the two)
2 cups water
1/2 cup sliced ginger (approximately)

Chilled Seltzer water

Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar melts.  Add the ginger coins and simmer for 20 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let cool.  Strain the syrup through a sieve, saving the deliciously infused syrup.  Brave people can eat the ginger coins if they dare, prepare for a peppery kick.
Transfer the syrup to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ginger Ale

2 - 4 T ginger syrup (or more if you prefer a sweeter drink)
8 oz seltzer
cup of ice

Combine all in a tall glass.  Stir with a spoon and taste. Add more syrup or seltzer if the drink is too spicy or too weak.

1 comment:

SOFIA said...

fantastic! What a clever idea