Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ginger ale

Well, sorry for the absence. I've been busy cooking and working in the garden.

Since it's now officially summer, I thought I'd share my favorite easy fermenting project. It's a good mixer, perfect for gin-and-ginger-ales, or sparkling juices. This recipe makes a light gingery drink that has a teeny tiny bit of alcohol in it. Ginger ale always reminds me of summer, of the cans of raspberry ginger ale I used to get at the vending machine at summer camp. For this project, though, I always cut the sugar way down, so it's not as sweet as commercial ginger ale. FYI, ginger ale that you buy in the grocery store is not fermented--it's a sugar syrup with seltzer water added to it. You can make nice ginger ale to your taste at home in two days, with about twenty minutes of active time. The recipe, with pictures, is too complicated to reproduce, so the link is here.

Basically you put some sugar, yeast, ginger, lime juice and water in a two-liter bottle, let it ferment in the sun for a few days until it feels hard to the touch, then throw it in the fridge so it won't explode, let sit a little, and enjoy.

The hardest part of this recipe, for me, is finding a two-liter bottle, since I never drink pop. Luckily a housemate scrounged one for me this time. Beer and wine makers will cringe at the use of bread yeast in this recipe, but folks usually have it around the house, and it tastes fine.
I use around three inches of grated ginger, and the juice of two or three limes, and only 1/3 C sugar.

Good luck!