Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Ginger Ale

you decide:
Yeasted Ginger Ale
Yeasted Ginger Beer
Fermented ginger ale, with ice and a fancy straw, ready to drink.
 Ugh, high fructose corn syrup, why are you in EVERYTHING?? I get the processed foods; I wouldn't touch that garbage with a 10 foot pole, but in tonic water and ginger ale? Come on. I like a good stiff drink; I also like a well mixed cocktail. I do not however like that cocktail with a side of corn poison. The organic ginger ales from the local co op are delicious, but way too expensive. What to do? Homemade of course! There was a bit of trial and error before settling on this recipe. An exploding plastic bottle or two, one bottle of flat-as-all-get-out ginger "juice", and one bottle filled with a weirdly syrup-y, congealed mess. But all of the sticky disasters were worth it because THIS recipe produces one outstanding drink. Its fizzy and fresh and actually very little work to put together. The final result is something of a cross between ginger beer and ginger ale. It is fermented like a ginger beer, but has the light, fresh taste of a ginger ale. Best of both worlds!
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, ready for ginger ale makin'.

You decide what to call it...
Yeasted Ginger Ale
Yeasted Ginger Beer
Yeasted Ginger Beer-ale
Yeasted Ginger Ale-beer:

You will need a
clean 2L plastic bottle or jug with tightly fitting cap.

1c organic vegan sugar
2 1/2tbsp peeled and freshly grated ginger root
1/4tsp active dry yeast
2tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
7.5-8c of cold filtered water

Clockwise from top left: Organic sugar, lemon juice, pre-grated ginger, yeast. 
Using a funnel or spouted measuring cup pour sugar, yeast, lemon juice, and grated ginger root into plastic bottle.
Pour approximately half of the filtered water into bottle, cap and shake vigorously to combine.
Remove cap and add the rest of the water, leaving about 1" of headspace.

Recap and shake again.
Place capped bottle in a warm, dark place to ferment for 48 hours,
then transfer to the refrigerator.
About halfway through the fermentation you should unscrew the cap,
to release some of the carbonation, then re tighten it. 
Leave in the fridge for 12 hours, this will stop the fermentation process.

Fermented ginger ale, getting fizzy in the morning sun.

Your ginger beer is now carbonated and ready to drink!
At this point it can be strained,
or you can drink it as is.
I leave mine un-strained.
Nothing wrong with a
little minced ginger in your drink, right?
Leaving the ginger in makes the drink feel fresher and more alive. I think thats a pretty good thing.

My favorite new cocktail:
I'm calling it the Royal Ginger Fizz, at least for now...

2 shots of yeasted ginger ale
1 shot of Crown Royal Black
topped with a few pickled cranberries,
My recipe here: SlowClubCookery's Spiced Bourbon Pickled Cranberries

Drink it down.
Repeat as necessary.

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