Project: Make Ginger Ale

This weekend’s interesting experiment: make Giner Ale from scratch. It sounds very complex and everyone has asked how to do it. There are directions floating around online, but let me provide some gently tweaked guidelines. Read on for the details.

What you will need:

  • ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ of a lemon, juiced
  • water
  • ¼ tsp active yeast

Ginger AleAdd the sugar an emptied 2 liter bottle. Add the yeast and shake. Add the ginger to the lemon juice and add them to the bottle. If inclined, you can also add a small amount of marichino cherry liquid, or orange juice, or lime, or any other fruit flavor. The citric acid from the lemon ought to keep it from spoiling or changing to an unattractive color.

Fill the bottle with water until you only have a small space at the top. If possible, distilled water is best. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.

The mixture will need to sit in some form of light for about 6-48 hours, depending on the amount of light. The yeast will carbonate your drink fairly quickly, you’ll want to test it by squeezing the bottle and measuring the pushback. It should feel pretty pressurized. You’ll want to chill it for at least 6 hours before drinking it, and of course, you’ll almost definitely want to strain each cup as you pour it (unless you prefer the ginger bits in your drink).

The drink should be sweet and fizzy, but not overwhelming. It will be cloudy with a relatively tame bite.

This recipe is based on a variant found at