Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Homemade Ginger Ale

While in Las Vegas, Mike and I ate at an amazing restaurant in the Bellagio called Sensi. The food and ambiance were spectacular but my favorite part was their homemade ginger ale. It was incredible... such a far cry from regular, store bought ginger ale. You could actually taste the real ginger and it had such a refreshing zing. So, hoping to emulate, I decided to try to make my own:

Only three ingredients needed: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup cut up fresh ginger

Peel and cut the ginger into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Boil the ginger in the sugar and water mixture until it reduces by half to create a syrup.

Amber ginger syrup smells soo good!

Mix some syrup with seltzer and voila... you've got homemade ginger ale.

Don't throw out those peices of ginger. Make ginger candy! Just toss in some sugar...

And bake in a 225 degree oven for 3 hours, until the ginger dries out.

The Verdict:
The ginger ale was good, but it still lacked that potent ginger flavor that Sensi's had. In the future I think I'll double or triple the amount of ginger and cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup instead of a full cup. Trial and error... that's what it's all about. As for the ginger candy, it's a little too intense to eat just on it's own, so I have grand visions of chopping it up and adding it to a muffin recipe for that extra spicy zing. Anyway, give it a try. Homemade ginger ale is a real treat!


Kitty said...

A couple of suggestions from moi.

If you freeze the ginger, it is super easy to peel, plus, it won't go bad in the fridge. Then you can grate the now-defrosted stuff in a food processor, (using a box grater is way too boring, seriously.) Try slowly simmering the grated ginger in the simple syrup until the liquid has reduced to half, then, allow the mixture to cool completely. Drain into a clean jar through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth. When it's done dripping, squeeze every last drop out you possibly can with the aid of the cheesecloth. (What's left in the cloth I would then freeze to later use to poach chicken breasts for Chinese Chicken salad, but that's just me, I hate to waste ginger bits.)

I think you'll find that's a much 'hotter' rendition.
Good luck, I love the stuff!
I think I'll go have a glass now!

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