Homemade Ginger Ale

A few weeks ago, I got together with a few other food bloggers for lunch at a terrific diner – Canteen in San Francisco. Lunch was fabulous, truly. Make your way there if you get a chance. One menu item that struck my fancy was homemade ginger ale, which they made fresh to order. After lunch, on my way out the door, I stopped the waitress to ask how they made it. She gave me a general idea, which I have attempted to recreate in the steps shown here. The Canteen version includes a little touch of ground clove and cardamon if I recall correctly. I didn’t add those spices, without them the ginger ale still turned out just great. It’s quite easy to make. You may need to adjust the proportions depending on how intense or sweet you want your drink.

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Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes four servings.

Ingredients

Ginger water

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

 

  • Club soda
  • Lime juice
  • Lime wedges

Method

1 Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.

2 In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.

3 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.

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sam-heidi-jen-shuna-elise-w.jpg
Sam, Heidi, Jen, Shuna, and Elise with glasses of gingerale at the Canteen

Links:
Homemade Ginger Beer - from 28 Cooks

47 Comments

  1. Carol

    ~~Oh, THANK YOU for this recipe! Ginger Ale is a GREAT way to cope with colds and flu viruses, to calm an upset tummy….for both adults and children.
    In our region, it is not easy to ride out at night to find a store open that carries it, so will be stocking our pantry with plenty of these ingredients.

  2. Nic

    I’ve been wanting to try this myself for a while now. I love gingerale.
    And that’s a great photo, by the way, Elise.

  3. Bea

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I am also a big fan of “anything homemade that you can possibly do”. For such drinks, we tend to take shortcuts, but nothing beats a homemade drink, really. What club soda would you recommend?

  4. sam

    Hi Elise.
    Funny – I tried making it 2 weeks ago too- I used a recipe in Donna Hay (I think). In that recipe the ginger was cooked together with the sugar syrup and I don’t think it worked very well. I bought a load of ginger to try again so next time I will try your recipe instead.

    Thanks for keeping the piccy small enough that no one can make out my wrinkles!

  5. sam

    PS my recipe said not to peel the ginger .

    PPS – we mixed ours with vodka and lemonade instead!

  6. LoveGingerAle

    Is it REALLY 1 cup of ginger? Did you mean 1 Tb maybe? I don’t know anyone who’s got that much ginger waiting to be ground up (nor do I desire to ever have that much). :) Besides that little hangup, I’m going to go home and try this! Thanks!

  7. Elise

    Hi Carole – You are welcome! We use ginger ale for upset tummies and when we have colds too. I never thought to make it from scratch until going to the Canteen.

    Hi Nic – Thanks Nic!

    Hi Bea – Honestly I’m not up on the differences between club sodas, I think any will do.

    Hi Sam – I wonder if peeling makes a difference? Whenever I would make ginger tea I would peel the ginger first. Perhaps it’s like peeling any root vegetable – get rid of some of the lingering dirt that may be on the peel. Hmm. Vodka and lemonade, well that would work!

    Hi LoveGingerAle – yes, 1 cup of ginger. It makes a pretty strong ginger ale. You might experiment with the proportions. I was trying to recreate the gingerale I had had at Canteen restaurant, and I think I got close. It is much stronger than gingerale you would get in a packaged soda, but more like a bottle of ginger beer.

  8. Andrea

    I really pounced on this one, Elise! I was trying to create a home-made “soda” type concoction recently, only sugarless, for my family. Nothing was agreeable. This may just do the trick if it can work with Stevia to sweeten instead of sugar (for the diabetics in family). Also, I did not know ginger was good for an upset tummy or cold.

    I love your blog. You always surprise me with something cool!

  9. Kamilah

    Oh My….. thanks you so much for posting this recipe. I have never had ginger ale this good. I am a new chef and always looking for new ideas and recipes. I am also a mom w/ very picky children, and to say the least this gets 5 stars in my house.

  10. vanessa

    Ginger in anything and I am there. Love the fact that I can make my own ginger ale now and not resort to the Canada Dry, eh!

  11. Gordon

    I just have to say, I love this site.
    You come up with some of the most delicious recipes,
    thank-you.

  12. Lori

    What a great recipe. I never thought about making ginger ale at home before. I will be trying this one for sure. Many thanks!

  13. Bridget

    I have to try this recipe. I was at a Korean grill, and my friend asked for some candied ginger. I was extoling the taste of real ginger and how it is so refreshing, there should be a drink with it…Ginger-Ade…then I thought…D’oh! Ginger-Ale! Love it!

  14. kickpleat

    I made one this summer after trying a homemade gingerale at a local restaurant. I added a bit of salt and pepper because that’s what they did at the restaurant. It was so delicious and refreshing!

  15. Misti

    Thank you so much! I love ginger ale and would much rather make it homemade so I could play with (and, with my lack of cooking skills, mess up) the recipe!

    I also tend to make hot cocoa from bitter cocoa, because I like peppermint in it more than the usual vanilla.

    A warning about sugar for diabetics: WATCH OUT FOR ASPARTAME! It turns into fermaldihyde (misspelled) in your intestines and is a confirmed carcinogin. (The polotics of why it was ever accepted as safe to begin with is rather frightening–political pressure!) Calorie-free sweeteners actually induce you to GAIN weight, because your body, tasting sweet, MAKES calories. And it’s very bad for your digestive tract.

    Anyway, I’ll try this recipe when I’m allowed to have soda, again; thank you for it!

    -Misti

  16. Maureen

    I used to make candied ginger which is easy to do. It involved, slicing the ginger (I pealed mine), letting it boil in water, changing the water, boiling again – this was repeated until I got the strength down to what I wanted, then putting it in simple syrup and letting that gently simmer for a time – forget the exact end of the recipe. The simple syrup candies the ginger which is then good to eat or chop up for inclusion into cooking dishes. Ginger is good for upset tummies in general, morning sickness, seasickness (a friend takes a bag of candied ginger with her when she goes on a boat). Making ginger ale at home sounds like the thing do when I want some and too lazy to go to the store:)

  17. HB

    I am so excited to make this on Xmas day. I am always looking for great non-alcoholic drinks to make and I am a huge ginger ale fan. I make my own ginger tea all the time so I know I will love this… and I’m going for the full cup of ginger! Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Rhona L

    Thanks for giving me the idea to make ginger ale; its just something our own Filipino version “salabat”. I’m thinking it also but I’m afraid that it add some spices.

    Also, I loved your blog. Your wide array of ideas of the recipes make me so happy coz I’m trying it just like what I did last occasion.

  19. Jenny Cabanilla

    Thanks for the ginger recipe. I’m going to try it because I do have access to organic ginger and would love to try it with stevia and other herbs. To add salt and pepper…now thats a try!

  20. Cathrine C D

    Hi!
    I have been an amateur of ginger ale since childhood and i’m 59. Yet I just recently found many home recipes for ginger ale.
    Even more recently, I was given an 1911 cookbook : The Ideal Cookery Book by M.A. Fairclough
    where I have found this recipe. Thought you might be interested
    (I copy EXACTLY as is, p. 910 Notice the D in gingerade)

    How about that !!

    I am trying it today
    I already prepared a more contemporary recipe where I obtained a syrup that is suppose to mature in the fridge for a month Then it will be mixed with soda water or mineral water, ratio 1 to 7 to taste.

    Hope this is found interesting by someone out there !

    CCD museologist
    Quebec

  21. Catehrine CD

    PS I read somewhere that ginger ale was used against travel sickness – I understand nausea, during the 19th century and after. I was told that ginger ale was served onboard trains, boats and then commercial planes for THAT reason. Remains to be validated, of course but sounds true.
    Let’s enjoy this cool drink!

  22. Maria

    Thanks for the great recipe. I made this last night and it was fabulous…great tasting.

    Being a die hard ginger ale fan i was pleased to see your recipe as I can’t get a bottle so easily living in Athens-Greece

  23. The Anonymous Mama

    Can’t believe it – I just Googled “homemade ginger ale recipe” and this site came up as the first thing. I just discovered Simply Recipes only recently. Never imagined I’d find this recipe here! I’m going into the kitchen to make it now….

  24. Bang Yong

    For the ginger water after boiling and simmering I actually just poured it into a french press.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  25. Neha

    Hi,
    This recipe is excellent.I tried it out just today. The canned stuff you get in the markets barely has any flavour…this has an amazing taste…I will continue to make it in the future
    Thanks!

  26. Susan

    What a find! I was shocked to look at the ingredients of all the usual commercial ginger ales to find that none of them contain ginger!!! I need a tasty way for my daughter to get ginger when he feels nauseous. Unfortunately she is living her hormone-d filled years as I did…nauseous often! Thanks!!

  27. george

    You only need one TEASPOON of ginger!

  28. soumya

    cool recipe
    damn good
    thnx fer it!:)

  29. Jason

    Thanks for the recipe. For those out there looking for a diabetic friendly version, try mixing the ginger water with diet sprite or 7-up or something. Actually, I think doing it this way worked better, because club soda comes in small bottles and is expensive.

  30. chris

    I ground up the ginger with a ginger grinder, and I thought the flavor went a lot further. This is a great recipe, but I thought it was VERY sweet, and only needed about half the syrup that is called for.

  31. erin

    Well I’m prayng this will be the remedy to my morning sickness but so far its been too sweet and too spicy. I had to add a little extra club soda but I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle too much more. maybe I shouldn’t have squeezed the ginger juice out so much.

    You might try ginger gum or ginger candy from a health food store (must be made with real ginger) or Whole Foods, I have found those to be helpful with motion-sickness nausea, though don’t know if it will help with morning sickness. ~Elise

  32. JOE

    Does the simple syrup have to become thick, or does the sugar just have to disolve? Or is that question redundant.

    The sugar just needs to dissolve. The “syrup” is not the consistency of what we are used to when thinking about the word syrup. ~Elise

  33. Heather

    I followed the recipe exactly, and something came out horribly wrong. It tasted like thera-flu, the only thing I can think of is I bought a off-brand of club soda? I have been dying to make homemade ginger ale for years too. :(

    Perhaps, or maybe you are using a sugar substitute and not real sugar? Or tonic water instead of club soda? With so few ingredients, they all have to be good for the recipe to work. It shouldn’t taste like thera-flu at all. ~Elise

  34. Al

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I’ve found that only strong ginger ale really works for stomach problems, and my family moved away from a steady supply of locally-bottled “hot” ginger ale. It’s great to have a recipe that can be cooked up without the wait of fermentation!

    P.S. Misti’s comments on Aspartame are mistaken. See: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp for more info.

  35. KS

    I made this today and it turned out awesome! I didn’t have a ton of ginger so I used 1/4 cup but simmered it for about 20 min to compensate. It was probably not as potent as it it would have been otherwise but still really really good.

  36. bob verville

    Gave up drinking a few years ago, and am always looking for something different and refreshing to drink. This fits the bill. thanks

  37. SC

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I had a great glass of ginger ale at E&O in San Jose and am glad to have found a recipe so I can replicate this drink at home!

  38. michelle

    My favorite bakery has a homemade ginger ale which I LOVE but they are closed on Sundays. I was craving some today (Sunday) so I made this and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe. I have a lot of leftover ginger water. Can it be saved? If so, for how long, should it be refrigerated, etc.
    Thanks again!

    Yes it should be refrigerated, and it should last several days. ~Elise

  39. Marisa

    Yum! A friend and I made this last night and it tasted great! We made 2 batches. One with cardamom and cloves, and the other without. We decided we liked the spiced one better, so we mixed the two together and added more spice. I like a spicier ginger ale so instead of diluting the flavor with simple syrup (added water), next time, I’ll add the sugar to the ginger water after straining the ginger to make a ginger syrup. This way, not as much club soda will be needed to get the carbonation just right.

    This beats spending $5-$6 on a four pack of bottled ginger ale at whole foods. Its delicious!

  40. eubbie

    This is delicious. I think it would be great with a little muddled mint and a tiny splash of rum. Maybe I’ll try that this summer when the mint is taking over the garden.

  41. Juke

    I just recently had this drink at a vegan restaurant in NYC it is very good and I wanted to try to make it on my own thanks for this post!!!

  42. Diane

    I just got a soda stream and will trying this with that! Thanks!

  43. Tammy

    This is a great tasting, smooth soda. Thank you so much!

    P.S.: Does the simple syrup have to be refrigerated as well?

    It’s a good idea. ~Elise

  44. Marina

    I just came back from the States to Serbia and realized that we don’t have ginger ale over here…This recipe is a real life-saver :) Thanks!

  45. Rhonda Hakim

    Hey, where is the yeast? When making Ginger Ale it takes bread yeast. Preferably dry active yeast.

    This isn’t a recipe for fermented ginger ale, but if you have one, we would love to hear about it. ~Elise

  46. Tim

    I had pulled this reciepe off the WikHow Site:

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Ginger-Ale

    (Good pictures on the site as well some may find helpful.)

  47. Cedric

    Nice recipe, I just tried it out. Just that I’m not that used to discard things easily… and instead of simply discarding the ginger pieces, I candied them.
    Just add sugar (slightly less than the remaining ginger), cover with water in a sauce pan and let it boil until the water disappear. Those small candied ginger pieces can be later used in cakes or ice creams for example.

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