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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Homemade Ginger Ale and Candied Ginger





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm usually careful with my purchases, but ginger root got the better of me and I ended up far more of it than could normally be used. I can't bear waste. My search to avoid the compost pile led to a few interesting alternatives and I decided to make candied ginger and use the syrup in which it steeped for ginger ale. I've made candied ginger in the past, but never saved the syrup for other uses, so this was a bit of an experiment for me. There are three types of simple syrup and each is identified by the ratio of water to sugar in the mix. Thin simple syrup is used to glaze cakes and cookies and has a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part sugar. Medium simple syrup is used to make beverages and sweeten ice tea and has a ratio 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. Thick simple syrup has a ratio of 1 part water to 1 part sugar and it's used as a base for cold drinks and to glaze candied fruits. I'm not fond of overly sweet drinks, so I decided to go with a medium simple syrup. This process requires a lot of ginger and a bit of straight forward knife work or a mandoline. All told, you'll need 1-1/2 cups of peeled, thinly sliced ginger. Quick work can be made of this if you use the edge of a spoon to scrape the ginger clean. Try to keep the slices of ginger uniform in size for even cooking. A thickness of an eighth to a quarter of an inch is ideal. Time takes care of the rest. I was really pleased with how well the ginger ale turned out. It has a really fresh sharp taste that's missing from its commercial counterpart. I added slices of fresh lime to ours and can happily report this would make a wonderful warm weather beverage. Here are the recipes.

Homemade Ginger Ale and Candied Ginger...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
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
1 lime cut in wedges
Optional garnish: lime slices, mint sprigs

Directions:

1) 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. 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. Squeeze lime wedge into glass. Use more syrup if desired. Stir. Yield: 4 servings.
2) 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.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Candied Orange and Lemon Peel - One Perfect Bite
How to Make Candied Ginger - David Lebovitz
Homemade Ginger Ale - Simply Recipes

67 comments :

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh Mary- I am definitely going to try this!! I love ginger ale and have never thought to use the syrup this way. Thank you!
xoxo Pattie

Big Dude said...

Great post - never considered homemade ginger ale - until now

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

I love that green in te picture ...so like the colors of spring :-)))
And ur Giner Ale and Candied Ginger are something i love too.....

Wandering Chopsticks said...

That looks so refreshing right now. My mom used to make candied ginger when I was little. She cooked the ginger in a pot with sugar and water and let it cooking down until the water was gone and the sugar crystallized.

My Little Space said...

These sound fabulous, one stone two birds huh! I love both of them very much. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a nice day!
Regards, Kristy

Lady Ren said...

I love this post- I have never thought of making my own Ginger ale. We don't drink soda however I always keep Canada Dry Ginger ale in the house for tummy aches- when we lived in Detroit for three years they had this stuff called Vernons which I felt tasted fake. Even though we were way closer to Canada then I am now it was near impossible to find Canada Dry- I am so excited at the thought of making my own- thank you for sharing!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

I love that green in te picture ...so like the colors of spring :-)))
And ur Giner Ale and Candied Ginger are something i love too.....

Susan said...

What a wonderful recipe. Never thought of making ginger ale, but since I love it so much, your tall drink looks inviting. And the candied ginger, I eat that a lot for snacks. Thanks. This is a keeper.

Angie's Recipes said...

I never knew that ginger ale could be made at home!!! I love this! You are just COOL!

Jagruti said...

Wow..lovely ginger ale..never made at home..definitely going to try soon! lovely pics too

Ana Powell said...

Congratulations, your work is so unique x

Foodycat said...

I can easily imagine getting carried away by lovely plump fresh ginger! I haven't seen good ginger since I left Australia. I think your ginger ale sounds refreshing and delicious.

Claudia said...

This is perfect for spring. I've always wondered about making my own candied ginger. Many thanks!

PeggyR said...

That sounds wonderful Mary!

Kristen said...

Fabulous use of too much ginger! I am so impressed with your ingenuity.

Sushma Mallya said...

so cool and refreshing

Martha said...

I had an abundance of ginger and candied some as well -- so nice to have in the larder!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Thanks for explaining the different types of simple syrups. That has always mystified me. I do love the fresh bite of ginger, and this drink sounds amazing!

Gloria said...

OMG Mary my kids love ginger ale really love ! I have to make this look divine, huggss gloria

Margaret said...

I love everything - ginger. How interesting that you can make candied ginger, something I didn't know could be done at home.

Farmer Jo said...

Oh, I am all about the ginger right now! I wish I was feeling up to cooking. I need that :)

Joanne said...

Candied ginger is one of my favorite snacks of all time. It's flavor so intense that you can't have that much of it. But it's just so delicious. I can't believe you made this and ginger ale from scratch! That is awesome.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Lime and ginger are one of my favourite combinations, I used them together in tiramisu for the Daring Bakers in February. I am very impressed you made your own candied ginger, I must confess I am lazy and buy mine. Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours!

frockandfork said...

It looks so fresh and summery :) Fantastic colours!!!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Ginger is just the best, I will certainly be trying this out.

Pam said...

I just finished pickling a whole batch of ginger! This is on my list for next time!

®osadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary,
il Ginger Ale viene bevuto molto in Italia nell'ora serale... al termine del lavoro al BAR con gli amici, prima di tornare a casa...
perĂ² i canditi di zenzero mai provati !
Ora voglio provare a fare questa tua ricetta, dall'aspetto devono proprio essere gustosi !
Buona domenica :-)
Myriam

Kim said...

I am so fascinated with how you made your own ginger ale. Good for you Mary! What a fabulous way to enjoy your leftover ginger. Excellent:D

Janice said...

How interesting. All that ginger ale needs is a drop of vodka ;)

A Year on the Grill said...

really home made ginger ale... amazing every time I am here...

gonna take your advice and bake the bread and then freeze will let you know... Thanks again

Alecia said...

very clever of you to make homemade ginger ale- sounds very refreshing-my family loves it plain and mixed with pom and cran juices as well.

Cooking Rookie said...

What a cool recipe. I love ginger ale and never thought about making it at home. I made lemonade with fresh ginger, but this recipe sounds really great! Thanks for sharing!

From the Kitchen said...

You have no idea how much I appreciate today's post. I seem to always end up with too much fresh ginger and not enough candied ginger. The ginger ale looks delicious and would certainly be welcomed on my front porch. I just made ginger bar cookies today and used up the candied ginger. Tomorrow I'll put that big knob of ginger to very good use.

Best,
Bnnie

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

Thank you so much for sharing these great recipes. I don't allow pop in our home but I cave when it comes to a bottle of Canada Dry. This would be great to make. Candied Ginger is over $8 at our local Walmart. What a huge savings to make it yourself. You are always so inspiring :)

Hungry Dog said...

Thanks for posting this! I love candied ginger (and ginger ale too, now that I think about i)--guess I can make them myself now!

The Chef In My Head said...

Mary you are so creative!! Great post. ~LeslieMichele

Nancy said...

I love Ginger Ale...it's so refreshing and never seems too sticky sweet like some of the other sodas! I'm so excited to try this! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Kamalika said...

Hi Mary...thanks a lot for visiting my blog and for ur lovely appreciation...Thanks for ur blessings too....you have a wonderful blog here too...loved ur recipes,mainly lot of dishes on carrots.. I really need to get in touch with experienced persons like you...adding u in my blog list to get in touch with u...have a nice day....

Chef Aimee said...

I am amazed that you made your own...what a fantastic idea and a great endeavor! It looks so refreshing!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Mary, I would never have even thought of making my own ginger ale, though it's one of my favorite beverages. It looks so refreshing!

Christine said...

I have been collecting ginger ale recipes since last summer but never made one of them. Yours is the simplest and best one of the bunch, and I will be making yours. Thank you for a great recipe.

Tuty @Scentofspice said...

Ginger Ale and Candied Ginger are our favorite too.

Best remedy for upset stomach.

Home Pantry said...

Home made ginger ale and to make ginger candies out of them is sure interesting. I like ur idea of not wasting food.Thats really nice. I think the syrup can be used as a marinade for meats too in dishes with asian inspiration.N Thanks for ur comments on the oatmeal pancakes. Hope ur grandson likes them.

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Hello Mary ~I've truly missed my visits, but little by little I'm catching up.
Although last month was difficult with our loses a new month has brought new hope.
I poured myself a cup of tea and read a spell...
Ginger ale is my all time favorite, especially Vernors GA. I only drink it occasionally, but it's a taste treat. I chew many candied gingers when the train gets a little to windy.
I'm so excited to see spring blooms popping up. I look forward to applying the inspirational palette of colors into a few baking/cooking dishes.
Don't you love the aroma that fills the air during this season?
It's definitely invigorating.

Come by for a visit. Your company would be nice.

Sweet wishes,
Sara

susan said...

Mary-I seem to remember that Martha Stewart was introduced to cooking making homemade ginger ale with her family. It always intrigued me. I think I just may have to try this. Gingerale is one of my favorite drinks. I think it is so refreshing. You never cease to amaze me!!

Cristie said...

Mary, What a delightful and refreshing blog! Thank you so much for stopping by mine so that I could be directed to yours. I love the way you weave your famiy stories into your food, you've connected with me in a major way.

On of my son-in-laws has a over active love with giner ale. Now I can make him a homemade version that sounds wonderful!

Have a great week!

Cristie, The Table Runner

Debinhawaii said...

I love homemade ginger ale and it is such a great way to use up ginger. The candied ginger looks delicious too. ;-)

Lucie said...

I can't wait for Summer! I've been looking for a nice ginger ale recipe and I think I've finally found it, thanks! Have a wonderful week!

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

Candied ginger is so yummy. I sell candied ginger and chocolate truffles in my candy shop! Thanks for the awesome post.
♥ Rebecca

♥ Kathy said...

This looks so good Mary! I always cheat and buy the already made candied ginger and ginger ale but now I'm going to try to make it myself!

Duchess said...

What simply lovely idea! And what a bright and cheerful blog you have. Thank you for stopping by mine, and I will most certainly be returning!

Carrie said...

This just LOOKS like spring. So pretty. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

This looks and sounds impossibly refreshing!

Aunt Snow said...

Did you know you can also plant ginger root? It's just like growing an iris - plant the rhizome horizontally close to the surface. It will grow and send out lobes and you will be able to harvest it by cutting off chunks of it.

Next time you have too much ginger, save a little chunk to plant.

Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

The perfect drink for the upcoming summer! I love ginger and anything made with it! Cannot wait to try it once I get back to the US!

Katy ~ said...

I would LOVE homemade ginger ale as I definitely love the flavor of ginger ale. I am loathe to keep the burner going for 2 hours; do you think the ginger could be done in a crockpot?

alwayswinner786 said...

This is so refreshing Mary!
Candied ginger recipe is just perfect!

K Hamilton said...

Hello Mary,
Your comment that you left on my blog really meant a lot to me, so I decided to come and check out your blog and see what you were about. I've only gone through about 4 or 5 entries, and every single one looks better than the previous! Your photography is also quite impressive. I look forward to reading more of your posts and talking with you in the future!

Kristi

Beki said...

Ooooh, this looks like the perfect idea! I have candied fruits, and eaten crystallized ginger, but never thought of making it myself. Thanks!

nicole said...

this looks absolutely delicious!
must try soon~

Mom2-2goodboys said...

I'm definitely trying this recipe! I grew up eating candied ginger with my father. He Loves Candied Ginger. With Father's Day just around the corner, I know what to give/make for him to show how much I Love and appreciate him. Thanks for posting this recipe!

Sophie said...

Hello Mary!!

What a fab & tasty looking refreshing drink!!

My husband will love this!

Jen said...

I just made this, and it's delicious! You're right, it has more of a kick to it than store-bought gingerale. My candied ginger is currently drying in the fridge - I was afraid to leave it out and attract bugs.
Oh and that was such a great tip about using a spoon to peel the ginger, I've always used a knife and I've lost a lot of the actual ginger.

Smart Aunt said...

Lovely. I'm dropping a link to this tomorrow on my blog.

Mary said...

dear Mary! Thanks to you, today I tasted ginger ale for the first time in over 15 years... it was wonderful!! (store variety is off limits for me because of many allergies.) Thank you So Much for sharing your great idea. I'll be using your recipe a lot in the months and years to come, always with a thought of gratitude for you.

Mary

Apron Appeal said...

How do you measure ginger? Every time I see it in a recipe I wonder...when its grated/zested it mushes after you touch it to put it in to a measuring device.

Susan said...

I had never considered making my own ginger ale! I am so excited to try this! I have candied ginger in the cabinet that I have had no clue how to use! Thanks!

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