Ginger is my absolute favorite spice. The smell of ginger always reminds me of my Mom. When I was a teenager my Mom and I would visit health food stores to try  different healthy foods and we almost always bought candied ginger to snack on in the car. I love how a certain smell triggers such strong memories. If you were curious about how that works, check out this article at How Stuff Works called How Smell Works.

I made this ginger syrup last week and brought it to Cape Cod with us and everyone tried out the homemade ginger ale. My daughter loved it and even said that it tasted better than Canada Dry. My son tried it but only once and my husband complained that he only had a couple of sips before all the ginger syrup was gone.  He described it as ginger ale with an extra kick. It was so good that I can’t wait to pick up some more ginger-root so I can make more ginger syrup. This recipe is from One Perfect Bite, a beautiful blog with some awesome recipes.

Homemade Ginger Ale and Candied Ginger (adapted from One Perfect Bite)

  • 1 1/2 cups ginger, peeled and thinly sliced in 1/8 to 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided use
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart club soda
  • Optional garnish: lime slices, mint sprigs

To make ginger ale: Combine ginger, 1 cup sugar and water in a saucepan. Simmer slowly for 1 to 2 hours, until sugar is dissolved and ginger is softened. Strain warm syrup and allow to cool. (I placed the syrup in a measuring cup in the fridge because I was impatient.) Save the ginger pieces to make crystallized ginger. Fill a tall glass with ice, add mint sprig and lime slices, 2 ounces ginger syrup and 6 ounces of club soda.  Use more syrup if desired. Stir.

To make candied ginger: Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place a cooling rack on top. Place reserved 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Toss ginger in sugar and dry on rack for 1 to 2 days. Store in airtight container or a zip lock bag for up to 3 months.

In case you don't know what to look for... this is what ginger root looks like.

Peeled ginger looks very much like potatoes.

Again, I was impatient for this recipe and only simmered the syrup for about 1 hour.

I didn't measure the syrup to club soda ratio and just mixed to taste.

This is a incredibly delicious drink. I almost don't want to buy ginger ale from the store again. I'll be trying to make cream soda next and looking for instructions for real root beer.