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Saturday, August 4, 2012

It’s A Hot One! Homemade Ginger Ale

Today the forecast is for 88 degrees and no chance of rain with sunny skies here on the North Oregon Coast! This is such a rare thing for us, I almost revel in it! Our high is usually 65 degrees with 60 percent chance of rain.
So we’ve buttoned up the house so we won’t get too hot, because no air conditioning here! I decided to make something cool to drink, my favorite: homemade ginger ale!  Ginger is a great digestive herb, as well as anti-inflammatory.  It rarely has side effects, although there are some cautions about ingesting a lot of ginger and taking blood thinners.
I have a iSi soda siphon to make carbonated water, so there is no fermentation involved, I just have to make the ginger syrup.

I found and adapted this recipe from the website    HerbCare.

You need:
4 cups of water
4 or 5 inches fresh ginger
4 packets of NuStevia white stevia powder
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon extract

Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Peel ginger and cut into chunks and chop with the food processor or by hand into fine pieces. (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of me peeling and chopping the ginger. You can see from the picture below, I pretty much mince the ginger.) Add the ginger and stevia, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid into a heatproof container, then stir in vanilla and lemon extracts. 

Cover and refrigerate. Once the syrup is cool you can fill a glass with ice, pour in about ⅓ to ½ glass of the ginger syrup and fill the rest of the glass up with carbonated water. I like my ginger ale kind of strong, so I use ½ ginger ale syrup to ½ water.

I have substituted other sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey, but those made it too sweet for me. (If you like it sweeter, then do use maple syrup, honey or increase the stevia.)  I have used fresh lemon juice previously, but it didn’t taste the way I wanted it to taste.

What’s your favorite cool summer drink?

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