Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homemade Ginger Ale!

Hey everyone! Ever since we got a sodastream as a wedding present I've been wanting to make homemade syrups for it. Their syrups aren't great (though I do like the root beer) and I knew I would be able to find plenty of recipes online. The recipes for ginger ale syrup caught my eye. Why? Because they were super simple (3-4 ingredients) AND you end up with a 'byproduct' of ginger candy! How could I pass up giving that a try? I looked on several websites, but mainly got my instructions from this one: I won't restate their recipe here in detail, because that doesn't seem fair. I just wanted to share how it went and show you some pictures. Maybe you'll get inspired to try it yourself! 

The basics: You boil together equal amounts of sugar and water, and a whole bunch of sliced ginger. I added lime peel, which I saw mentioned on another blog that I can't seem to find anymore. I also used coconut sugar, which I bought on a recent trip to the store. The sugar was ridiculously expensive but claimed to be more sustainable than cane sugar, so eh, I thought I would give it a try. I will have to look into their claims, but the sugar had a tasty caramel/molasses flavor to it. 

 After the sugar, ginger and water have boiled together for long enough, you can remove the slices of ginger and bits of lime peel, coat them in yet more sugar, and lay them out to dry. I turned the oven on really low to help them out a little. I let them dry overnight (mostly because I forgot about them, oops) and they came out delicious! They are VERY sharp, though. I might cut them smaller next time, to see if it helps. The candied bits of peel are tasty, too! 

Here's how they looked before drying: 
And after drying overnight: 

The syrup was tasty, too (yes, I licked the spoon). It was a really dark color, I think because of the color of the coconut sugar-it might be lighter if you used white sugar. I have been adding it to my seltzer for days now-it's really good! You might be wondering about the clean-up from all of this. I was a bit worried I'd be stuck with a sticky mess, but actually the pot cleaned up quite easily with a little soap and water. This was a winner all around!

Have any of you ever tried making homemade soda syrups? What should I try next?

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