Making Ginger Ale
I know I ought to be posting up ways to revamp Thanksgiving leftovers right about now but since I don’t celebrate it (thus having no pieces of turkey or a boatful of cranberry sauce to experiment with), I figured a recipe for a gingery drink might not be too bad around this time of year. I love clear drinks. There’s something very pleasing about holding your glass to the light and being able to see the different shapes of ice or pieces of fruit floating around in the coloured liquid, and the clear ivory colour of this one just makes it that much better. Skip the ice entirely and up the amount of [hot] liquid if the weather calls for it, and you can always substitute the sparkling water with the spirit of your choice.
GINGER ALE = GINGER SYRUP + LIQUIDS
GINGER SYRUP (recipe from Berlin’s Whimsy) :
[ 1 large piece of fresh ginger (yields about 1 cup) + 3/4 cup sugar + 1 cup water + 1 bottle of sparkling water + fresh limes ]
Slice the ginger thinly and juice 1 lime.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and ginger pieces until barely simmering. Simmer for five minutes, turn off heat, cover. I left it to steep for 30 minutes to get a milder flavour, but if you want it stronger then let it steep for at least one hour.
Drain the ginger water over a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup.
Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan, add the sugar and gently heat this mixture until the sugar dissolves.
Let cool and store this ginger syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use.
TO MAKE GINGER ALE:
[ 2 parts ginger syrup + 1 part fresh-squeeze lime juice + 3 parts sparkling water ]
I made mine in a large glass bottle and then pour it into individual glasses loaded with ice.
Serve it with the syrup, slices of lime, a couple of mint leaves and ice on the side so that people can adjust the amount to their liking.
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