I’ve been having a food crush on ginger lately. It heats up everything from curries to desserts, and supposedly you can add it to the “It’s for my heart” list, next to red wine and dark chocolate.
[Speaking of, next time you’re at Trader Joe’s, their house brand Belgian chocolate, and Benefactor Cellar’s red wine get my vote for inexpensive picks. You’re welcome.]
The great thing about a food crush is that a girl can actually do something about it; I made ginger-spiked beef stir-fried with asparagus, carrot ginger soup, and several batches of calling card gingerbread. In the throes of this culinary infatuation, I came across a recipe for homemade ginger ale, while I was, of all things, working out. I looked over the recipe but didn’t write it down. Simple syrup spiked with ginger and diluted with club soda. Seemed easy enough.
Here’s what I did:
1) Bought a very big chunk of ginger root, peeled it (much easier if you freeze it for a few minutes first) and sliced it into pieces. I didn’t know what size pieces to make, but I figured that surface area was my friend, so I cut it fairly small.
2) Poured equal amount of sugar (2 and 1/2ish cups) and water and a tiny bit of salt into a sauce pan with the ginger.
3) Brought to a boil while stirring occasionally (I wanted the sugar well-dissolved).
4) Simmered awhile, maybe 25 minutes or so. It reduced but didn’t show any signs of becoming candy.
5) Let it sit overnight with the ginger still in it. I figured, the more ginger flavor, the better.
6. Poured it through a fine mesh sieve.
7. Poured glasses of club soda and stirred in this syrup to taste.
It was surprisingly easy and yummy. Ginger ale has long been a home remedy for nausea, and I think this would do the trick. But even if you’re feeling fine, homemade ginger ale is great.
(I was also left with a few cups of sweet ginger pieces, which I have been adding to my tea-cup when I make chai this week, because I didn’t want the throw them away. Yum!)