Homemade Ginger Ale

homemade ginger ale

More than anything, making this homemade ginger ale was simply for fun of it. My first “experiment” with infused simple syrups was for the Meyer lemon whiskey sour I made for Carolyn’s engagement party. I figured making a ginger syrup wouldn’t be terribly difficult, either. And it isn’t. But you need a few extra ingredients — in addition to a nice dose of ginger — to achieve the characteristic ginger ale zip. Oh, and a blender (or food processor) — infusion alone doesn’t impart enough gingery goodness. While I’m sure my Canada Dry days aren’t over, this is a fun and tasty D.I.Y. project to use up any extra knobs of ginger laying around. And in case you’re wondering, it’s just as good on its own as it is with a splash of Jameson mixed in.

(Giveaway Announcement: As promised, the winner of the salad dressing shaker giveaway is … Kathy! Congratulations and hope you enjoy your prize!)

homemade ginger ale (syrup)

Homemade Ginger Ale

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Inactive Preparation Time: 1 hour

Makes: About 1/2 cup Syrup


  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) water
  • 1/2 cup (96 grams) granulated white sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 2 packed tablespoons (28 grams) peeled fresh ginger, finely chop
  • 3 – 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 strip (about 1/2″ wide by 3″ long) lemon zest
  • 1 quart (4 cups) sparkling water
  • Ice, if desired


Make Ginger Syrup:

Combine water through lemon zest in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until it reaches a simmer and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to steep for about 1 hour. Once mixture is at room temperature, transfer to a blender and puree for 1 minute. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl/dish/measuring cup/jar. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week; stir well before using.

Make Soda:

Gently stir together 2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) well-stirred, chilled syrup with each cup (8 ounces) sparkling water. Add ice, if desired, and serve immediately!

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  • Reply
    May 15, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I copy interesting recipes from Foodbuzz to my files, so when I find a wonderful-looking recipe that has a list of ingredients done in the ill-conceived Initial Cap Method, I Want to Scream!!! It means tedious retyping that I shouldn’t have to do. Even if I wasn’t retyping, I have to ask: what possesses so many amateurs to do this? It’s stupid-looking, makes no grammatical sense whatever. In real life, no list anywhere has items that are capitalized for no reason. It makes you look like a rube. None of the professionals do it… could they be on to something? It is merely a silly affectation.

  • Reply
    Heather Sage
    May 15, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I’m so pleased that my recipe made your copy/paste cut — thank you!

    Since you’re asking, here’s my plain-and-simple logic (however flawed it might be) for the “Initial Cap Method” ingredients listing:

    I feel it’s easier to read an ingredient list — especially on a computer/smartphone/tablet screen — when the first letter of each word in the item is capitalized. I think it’s hard to argue that the ingredient itself is not better-highlighted this way, and helps to separate the preparation method called for from the ingredient itself.

    However, I do very much appreciate you pointing out the error in my grammatical ways — any free editorial advice I can get is appreciated! (Though I do, of course, prefer emails [asageamalgam at gmail dot com] to public comments. Alas, beggars [yours truly] can’t be choosers.) I’ll be completely honest, I hadn’t noticed before that The New York Times and other well-respected publications did not format their recipes as I do. I’ll certainly take this into account going forward!

  • Reply
    May 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    D B
    May 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Isn’t homemade better than store bought? Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  • Reply
    Heather Sage
    May 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Thank you, alyce!

  • Reply
    Heather Sage
    May 15, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I tend to think so, too, D B :). Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kimberly (Unrivaledkitch)
    May 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    very nice, all the flavors sound wonderful. Congrats on top 9

  • Reply
    CJ - Food Stories
    May 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Congratulations on your foodbuzz top 9, today!

  • Reply
    May 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Congrats and Thanks for the recipe. Will make this today. Cheers….Jenny, Dubai.

  • Reply
    Val @ Tips on Healthy Living
    May 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Looks so refreshing. What made you decide to use the black pepper? Just for some extra kick?

  • Reply
    Heather Sage
    May 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Thank you, everyone — I had a TON of fun with this recipe!

    Val: The addition of black pepper (and a clove) was just on a whim. I had the ginger and strip of lemon zest in the pot, but thought it needed an extra layer of flavor. I was still convinced at the time that infusion alone would be the sufficient (it wasn’t), so I focused on the whole, non-leafy spices in my pantry.

    Cloves seemed to be the most appropriate companion to ginger (probably ’cause I LOVE gingerbread men), but I wanted to temper the clove-ness with something …. of all the remaining spices, whole Tellicherry black peppercorns seemed to be the best pairing. (My other choices were anise, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard.) It just happened to lend the desired nuance — even after being whirred about in a blender with everything else!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2012 at 5:02 am

    I have tried 3 ginger ale recipes. I like a hint of other spices (cardamom, allspice, star anise, clove), but I want the ginger to be the dominant taste. Suggest experiments with Cayenne peppers (Capsaicin) to add heat or the finish kick.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I love the idea of making your own ginger ale. I drink ginger ale in all different forms: mixed with rum, to calm an upset stomach, or just because it tastes good. This seems like a great way to control the amount of ginger and what goes in it. Will def. try it out. Thanks!

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