Homemade Ginger Ale?

Discussion in 'Food, Drink and Travel & The Arts' started by JerseyJohn, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. JerseyJohn

    JerseyJohn Super Member

    United States
    I was watching one of the old BBC Agatha Christie "Tommy and Tuppence" stories starring Francesca Annis, and they were drinking "Horse's Necks". In the US, they're usually made with whiskey and ginger ale, but they apparently made them with gin and occasionally referred to them as "GGs". I thought I'd try one, and that got me to thinking if there was a good ginger ale alternative to Canada Dry or Schweppes. I found "Q", and then I came across instructions by Alton Brown for making it yourself with ginger, sugar, yeast and water that seemed pretty easy. Has anyone actually tried making their own? Any advice or hints?
  2. DoghouseReilly

    DoghouseReilly Senior Member

    United States
    St. Louis
    I've used this recipe to make a few batches. I haven't seen Alton Brown's but need to take a look.

    My advice would be to use the champagne yeast like he says (instant yeast had a very bready mouthfeel to me) and if you like your ginger ale dry, you could cut the sugar in the recipe above by almost three quarters. I did on my last batch and I thought it made for a great mixer.
  3. allan

    allan New Member

    United States
    New Mexico
    traditional ginger beer

    There's another traditional approach that uses a ginger beer "plant", which works like a sourdough starter. Here's one of many recipes on the Web:


    These recipes typically use ground ginger rather than fresh ginger root. They don't all include sultanas (raisins) and you can probably omit those if you want.

    I've made tasty and refreshing ginger beer this way a number of times. The only disadvantage is that, as in making sourdough bread, you need to plan ahead; in fact, the whole process is spread over a week or two.
  4. allan

    allan New Member

    United States
    New Mexico
    ^^^ Having said that, I must admit that I've never been able to make really strong-flavored ginger beer at home, like the kinds from Jamaica (don't remember the brand name(s)) or Australia (Bundaberg). When I want that style of drink (and I love it once in awhile), I give up and buy a few bottles.
  5. jpakstis

    jpakstis Starting Member

    United States
    I tried it and it completely fizzled (pun intended!). It was flat, but had nice flavor. Since then, we got one of those Sodastream seltzer makers so I've been thinking about just making the soda sans carbonation, and just fizzing it up.
  6. sbdivemaster

    sbdivemaster Super Member

    United States
    I've made it (I would have to scrounge up the exact recipe, but very similar to Alton's recipe). The key is letting it age. Using champagne yeast, you let the bottles carbonate for 2-4 days, then you have to put them in the fridge to almost stop the fermentation. After several weeks, the taste really improves.

    If you'd like more specifics, answer back here, or send me a PM.

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