When I was younger, I never understood why people enjoyed ginger ale. I thought it had a funky taste and I didn’t appreciate the overly-enthusiastic way the bubbles behaved in a glass. I thought it was something only old men and my aunt from Texas drank.

How to Make Ginger Ale

Until I discovered a brand sweetened with organic cane sugar. It had a completely different mild taste, and the bubbles didn’t seem to be so annoyingly hyperactive. The downside to this natural brand was, of course, the unfortunately high price.


I think you know where I’m going with this one – straight down the DIY highway, baby! We like to make our own stuff so we can save money, personalize recipes, and build self-sufficiency. Making my own ginger ale allows me to save boatloads of money, flavor it just the way I like it, and learn a fun new skill.

This homemade ginger ale contains no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors like store-bought brands. You can play around with the ingredients to make it more citrus-y or more ginger-y, whatever floats your boat! For someone who doesn’t like ginger all that much, I think this ginger ale is just about perfect.

You begin by making a ginger syrup, which can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Just add the syrup to chilled sparkling water or club soda when you’re thirsting for fresh ginger ale. It’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

How to Make Ginger Ale 1


Natural Ginger Ale

Ingredients

Make ginger syrup

Juice lemons, reserving one thick slice from the middle. Add lemon juice, lemon slice, chopped ginger, sugar, and water to a pot. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then decrease heat to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Using a strainer or cheesecloth to catch solids, pour liquid mixture into a large glass measuring cup. (Compost solids or save ginger for other uses.) Make note of the amount of liquid you have. Return liquid to pot and continue simmering for 20-25 minutes, or until liquid has been reduced by half. Allow syrup to cool and transfer to a glass jar with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to mix drinks.

Make soda

Add about 2 tablespoons of syrup (to taste) to 1 cup of seltzer water or club soda and stir gently. Add ice, if desired, and enjoy immediately!

Notes from the kitchen

Don’t hesitate to play around with the ingredients a little to make a ginger ale that suits your tastebuds. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ginger can give a spicy kick to things, so if you’re not a fan of extremely ginger-y things you can try using less fresh ginger (or just use less syrup when making your glass of soda).
  • Add a little pure vanilla extract to the finished syrup to enhance the aromatic character of your soda.
  • We have not tried using other sweeteners in this recipe, but you could certainly give it a shot!
  • Add more lemon juice if you prefer more citrus and less ginger flavor.

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Comments

  1. says

    That’s really awesome! I’m newer to the all-natural lifestyle, trying to slowly transition my husband and I altogether, and literally just this week I started wondering about things specifically like Ginger Ale, if I’d eventually have to give them up for good. So this is pretty exciting that you just gave it right back to me; Thanks! Also, I only just found your blog yesterday and it’s great that within a day of subscribing this first post in my inbox is already just what I was looking for :)
    I’m super curious now, did you figure out your recipe totally from scratch? (I never would have guessed how) Or are sodas something one can research for help with figuring out other popular flavors too?
    Thanks again!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Ha! So cool this article is already useful to you.

      I did not just come up with this recipe out of my own little bird brain. :) I researched several methods for making ginger ale and combined methods and ingredients to come up with this one. So YES…you can certainly find recipes for other popular flavors online!.

      Enjoy your journey into an all-natural lifestyle and we’re so glad to have a new reader!

  2. Joy Strader says

    Thank you for your site and all the research and trials you do! I’ve followed the escapades of you and Matt for two or three years now. Many of the things I now do myself came from or were inspired by you two.
    I grew up in Michigan drinking Vernor’s ginger ale. I stopped buying it because of the cost. I can’t wait to try my hand at this syrup! The vanilla added in sounds just wonderful.
    Is there a way to make your own seltzer water also?

    Thanks for your inspiration,
    Joy

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Wow Joy, thanks for the kind words! We also grew up in Michigan where Vernor’s is popular! (This is why I always saw my aunt from Texas drinking it…she would load up when she visited us because it wasn’t available in TX.)

      You can make your own seltzer water! I just updated the article with this information, so thanks for asking. You’ll need one of these to make your own: http://www.diynatural.com/go/amazon.php?asin=B001KYT6CS

      So glad we could inspire change in your household! :)

  3. Erin says

    Hi Betsy,

    Thanks for a great recipe! May I suggest adding a bit of lemon zest to the pot (in addition to the lemon slice). It really takes the lemon flavour to a new level. :)

    Cheers :)

  4. Sari says

    We love this! I added fresh turmeric root to the mixture second time around.. Can’t taste it, but I love knowing there are secret added health benefits! Yum!

  5. J in VA says

    You can also make concentrated lemon or limeade and add club soda to make a fizzy lemonade.

    I use equal parts of water, and sweetner and some zest. Bring to a boil and boil for up to 5 mins. Add one part juice and stir. This keeps in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. To use: one part concentrate to three parts club soda.

  6. Anna says

    Wondering if you could freeze the syrup to increase the shelf life? I may even freeze it in an ice cube tray to have pre-portioned pieces :) A quick way to chill my drink as it melts.

      • Anna says

        Thanks! I occasionally have a good idea ;) I know the average ice cube tray is equal to 1 oz (2 tbsp) per cube, so the math becomes easy for how much to add to a drink.

  7. Ruthie says

    This sounds so cool and refreshing especially in our hot and humid weather! My mom-in-law tells stories of when the men worked in groups cutting down hay for each other. Their refreshing drink was ginger tea which was provided for them by the farmer’s wife during the mid-day. Even now, mom will say, “What you need is a glass of ginger tea!” Must have some restorative qualities to it. Thought you might enjoy a story from simpler times:)