|Ginger Ale from Scratch|
Recently, I met Tony of Simple Awesome Cooking through Food Bloggers Network. Normally not a noteworthy event, but he stood out because our blogs' are polar opposites. While he focuses on simple preparation, I love a challenging food. I'm not knocking food that isn't complex and/or time consuming, I just don't publish it here.
After trading emails, he noted in the next few weeks he would be publishing a homemade ginger ale recipe. As my readers know, I love making food from scratch that can easily be bought at supermarkets so I wanted in on the action. We agreed to publish the same dish on the same day using our own styles. This isn't meant to be competitive, but a comparison between two means to the same end. Before you continue forward, please stop and read about Tony's ginger ale recipe here.
Make food easily found at a supermarket at home.
As I reviewed recipes for homemade ginger ale, I noticed many used club soda or sparkling water to achieve carbonation in their beverage but I liked this one by Alton Brown I found on Food Network's website because it generated carbonation without that crutch.
5 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated finely
3/4 cup sugar
7 1/2 cups filtered water
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1. Place the ginger, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water into a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep for 1 hour.
2. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing down to get all of the juice out of the mixture. Chill quickly by placing over and ice bath and stirring or set in the refrigerator, uncovered, until at least room temperature, 68° to 72° Fahrenheit.
3. Using a funnel, pour the syrup into a clean 2-liter plastic bottle and add the yeast, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups of water. Place the cap on the bottle, gently shake to combine and leave the bottle at room temperature for 48 hours. Open and check for desired amount of carbonation. It is important that once you achieve your desired amount of carbonation that you refrigerate the ginger ale. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, opening the bottle at least once a day to let out excess carbonation.
When I went to open the beverage, it almost exploded (think of a cola can shaken up), so I proceeded slowly. It's interesting that my experience with the beverage was different than many of the reviews: The carbonation did not fizz out and the ginger flavor was strong. Ultimately, a success.