Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ginger Ale

Back in the fall we were in Asheville, NC to grab some pictures.  On Saturday night we discovered an eclectic, little restaurant called The Admiral.  We had to sit at the bar because we didn't have reservations.  The food was fabulous but before our food arrived the bartender/waiter handed J a glass of ginger ale to try.  Then he told us it was homemade and that they made it fresh every week and ran out of it a lot. I'm not surprised.  I had no idea that ginger ale could be that delicious.  The stuff you buy in the store is more like they waved a ginger root over a roomful of carbonated water and called it ginger ale. 

The bartender gave me a breakdown of about a dozen ingredients and I hastily scribbled them down on a napkin.  Then I lost the napkin.  AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!  I remembered bitters, cayenne pepper, fresh grated ginger, sugar, lemon juice, grated lemon zest, lime juice and zest, black pepper, and a cinnamon stick.  The rest of it is a mystery.

Alton B had a pretty good starter recipe that called for yeast so it would "carbonate".  All Recipes had another recipe where some of the commenters left some great helpful hints including adding a lot more ginger.  Here's wiki "how to".  Vegetarian Times had this recipe.  I'm scared to death of any recipe with yeast.  Yeast never works out well for me.  Ever.   So I made a combo recipe from all of the links and using all the ingredients I remembered.  Boiled the ingredients sans yeast and let it steep for one hour and strained it once cooled.  Then poured over ice (1ish - 2ish parts) and added club soda.  It is soooooo good.

Whenever I am sick I really crave ginger ale.  But I would never, ever make this recipe when I'm sick so I freeze some individual servings to keep on hand in case of emergency.  I make this recipe on regular basis.  We LOVE it!  It's not as good as the ale at The Admiral but it'll do in a pinch.

Someday I'm going to be brave and try the yeast version.  Someday......

We all know it's great for colds and stomach aches but did you know that a beverage steeped with a good amount of ginger is a more powerful pain reliever than mor phine?  I've been told that by several herbalists/health food stores so I'm taking that it's pretty true.  No wonder I like this stuff! :)


Sarah said...

ohhh.... that's fascinating. I will have to try it. I made a curry today that involved fresh ginger, and after I peeled it I just stood there smelling it for a ridiculous amount of time. It is amazing stuff. :)

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

omg, that sounds fantastic! I love ginger on food and ginger ale. I would probably die for the real thing!

Even though it smacks of cooking, now you even home cook your own drinks? First the 117 hour beans and now this? You slay me!

:)De said...

When I was growing up, the only soda we ever had was the soda my grandma made at home. I remember when I first tasted soda in a bottle thinking it was close but not real soda. The first time I had real ginger ale was just this last year. Yummy!!

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Ginger is good at helping to control motion sickness too!