Ginger ale has been used for ages to settle upset stomachs, and to battle nausea from morning sickness. However, there’s a new trend in town: Homemade ginger ale showing up on restaurant drink menus across North America. According to The New York Times, ginger ale has long been the bartender’s “secret ingredient” to make strong drinks taste more appetizing. It’s an ingredient in over 200 recipes including one version of the Shirley Temple made with grenadine and orange juice.
Ginger ale is now being used as a primary ingredient that’s meant to be noticed. For example, there’s the Dark and Stormy, made with ginger ale and dark rum, and the Fizz – a bubbly, non-alcoholic ginger-lemon drink made with honey. Some Asian restaurants are even offering homemade ginger ale as the perfect beverage to pair with dim sum dumplings. In general, homemade sodas are part of a trend toward simpler, more natural foods at restaurants – and part of a growing interest in locally-made products. Most bartenders mix the ginger ale to order. Using a homemade base of fresh ginger, lemon juice and syrup – topped off with seltzer water. Fans say the homemade version has more of a “zing” than store-bought ginger ale – and is especially appealing during the hot summer months.
Want to make your own homemade ginger ale? It’s easy. All you need is fresh ginger, sugar, limes or lemons, and club soda.