Homemade Ginger Ale

I rarely drink soda but if I do, I love ginger ale.

There’s something about it that just makes me feel better and more settled if I’m feeling a little off.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

On airplanes, it’s a must-have. And when I was pregnant, I lived on it, along with saltines.

When I saw Lindsay’s May Kitchen Challenge to make your own, I jumped on board.


I love a good DIY challenge and make everything from homemade peanut butter to vanilla extract to mustard to hot fudge, and figured why not ginger ale.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

It’s very simple to make and almost a work-free recipe, the best kind.

Make a simple syrup with water, sugar, and freshly grated ginger. Pour the strained simple syrup into bottles filled with tap water, lemon juice, a pinch of active dry yeast, shake, and let it sit on your counter for two or more days.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

The yeast ferment the mixture and in the process, carbon dioxide (carbonation) is created, otherwise known as fizz.

It’s no where as fizzy as storebought ginger ale, but I didn’t expect it to be like cracking open a fizz-tastic can of Diet Coke. I knew from brewing homemade kombucha that it’s not the norm to have a fizz-fest.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

You can ferment longer than two days, and in the process, more fizz will be created. You’ll also be closer to creating ginger beer, rather than ginger ale. As days pass in the fermentation process, the yeast eat any available sugar, create sugar alcohols as a byproduct, the beverage becomes less sweet, and contains more alcohol.

The mention of it containing alcohol comes with a huge caveat because there’s more alcohol in a few tablespoons of vanilla extract than in a glass of ginger ale or kombucha. And a swig of cough medicine has far more alcohol than any of them.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

I largely adapted an Alton Brown recipe and although it’s really good, it doesn’t taste like commercial ginger ale, such as Canada Dry or Schweppes. It reminds me of sake with rice wine undertones. I feel like I’m in a sushi restaurant when sipping it. If you like sake, you’ll love this stuff.

I was expecting more of a ginger pop, because I used slightly more ground ginger than Alton called for, but it was still quite mild. If you’re a ginger fiend and love really intense ginger, you could likely double the grated ginger amount.

It would be strong, and far more intense than commercial ginger ale, yet addictively pleasant. Spicy food and food that has natural heat makes me want more once I have a taste.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

I can envision infusing the ginger ale with other flavors, from rose water to lemon zest to vanilla stevia. There’s almost nothing off limits, depending on the flavor profile you’re going for.

How cool will it be when you have guests over and you can ask them if they’d like some homemade ginger ale. Or tell them their cocktail was mixed with homemade ginger ale. They’ll confuse you for Martha Stewart.

Bottoms up.

Homemade Ginger Ale (vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Homemade Ginger Ale

Making homemade ginger ale is nearly work-free, relying on yeast to ferment the mixture, thereby creating carbonation and fizz. Between the freshly grated ginger and slight yeasty taste, the ginger ale reminds me of sake. The ginger ale is great on it’s own, or feel free to infuse other flavors into it. Serve it at room temp, chilled, over ice, or as the mixer for your favorite cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces finely grated fresh ginger (I used almost 2 ounces, about 1/3 cup, it’s very juicy and wet)
  • 6 ounces granulated sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 7 1/2 cups water (almost 2 liters or 2 quarts)
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 4 tablespoons)


  1. Combine the ginger, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for 1 hour.
  2. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer set over a 2-cup measuring cup with a pour spout (makes it easier to transfer). Press down to really get all of the juice out of the ginger. It’s very juicy and keeps releasing even when you think it’s done, so be sure to really press it out well. Discard ginger solids or use for something else.
  3. Pour the syrup into a clean 2-liter bottle (I used two one-quart glass jars (each quart holds 4 cups).
  4. Add the yeast, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups of water. (Because I used 2 jars, each jar got 1/16th teaspoon yeast and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice)
  5. Cap the jar(s), gently shake to combine, and leave the jars at room temperature for 48 hours. Open and check for desired amount of carbonation. After 48 hours, my mixture was nicely fizzed, but I let it continue to ferment for another two days (4 days total) to develop more fizz and in the process, it takes on more of a ginger beer than ginger ale flavor.
  6. Once you achieve desired amount of carbonation and flavor, refrigerate the ginger ale, which dramatically slows the rate of fermentation, thereby slowing the amount of carbonation created.
  7. Because my ginger ale was quite foamy at the top of the bottle with yellow specks from the lemon juice, I skimmed them off before serving over ice.
  8. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alton suggests opening the bottle at least once a day to let out excess carbonation, however I have gone 3 days without opening the refrigerated bottles with no adverse effects; use common sense.

Adapted from Alton Brown

Only Eats

Related DIY Recipes:

Homemade Kombucha (also here and here) – I drink some kombucha almost daily. It makes me feel alive, better, and healthier overall. It’s loaded with more probiotics ounce for ounce that just about anything else and I love the taste

Vegan Coconut Milk Kefir– (Countertop No-Cook Recipe) – Kefir make with coconut milk is my favorite kind. It has the flavor profile of coconut milk yogurt, with just a slight tang, in liquid form

Homemade Horchata (Vegan, GF, Soy-Free) – Make on in blender and ferment on countertop overnight

Homemade Balsamic Reduction

Homemade Baileys Irish Cream – Make in blender in literally 30 seconds and it’s a dead-ringer for the real thing

Homemade Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter – My favorite peanut butter ever, and it takes 5 minutes to make

10-Minute Homemade Hot Fudge (GF) – Better than any storebought I’ve ever had and so easy

Homemade Vanilla Extract – Costs pennies on the dollar to make, and it’s essentially work-free

Do you like ginger ale? Ever brewed or fermented something?

Favorite thing to make at home and DIY?

93 comments on “Homemade Ginger Ale”

  1. We LOVE ginger ale! I bought some ginger root last week too. This would probably be good for my tummy!

  2. Looooove ginger ale. My favorite summer afternoon drink is cranberry, diet hansen’s ginger ale and a squeeze of lime. Can’t say I have tried to ferment my own though, I’m thouroughly impressed!

  3. As usual this looks fantastic. My boyfriend loves anything ginger, so as soon as i have a clean bottle i’m in! I think i’ll take your recommendation of adding more ginger for a stronger taste! Cannot wait to try this! :)

    • Cool! As long as you have any decent-sized bottles, you could even halve the batch and use 4 c of water rather than closer to 8 cups and divide it up as needed. LMK how it goes if you try it!

  4. Just like you, I rarely ever drink soda. But if I do, ginger ale is my favorite!! And it’s what I like to use in my favorite sangria recipe. :)

  5. I’ve never tried making soda, but I really should. The hubby and I brew our own beer though. There is quite a bit of work to it and you have to have certain equipment but it is totally worth it. Once you start learning the process then you can start playing with the recipe.

    • Brewing and fermentation can be SUCH a tough act to get together; and sometimes it takes many trials. You just never know how the yeast are going to work, the weather, etc. All the variables that all add up! But when it clicks, so worth it!

  6. Wow, this is so neat! I also don’t really drink soda…but, I used to looove ginger ale. I would love to try a nice, tall glass of this homemade version! :)

  7. I never grew soda growing up, but I LOVE homemade ginger ale. I just made a batch last week – soooooo refreshing! Your pretty pictures have me eager to pop back into the kitchen and make another one :)

  8. That is so interesting! Never thought to make my own ginger ale! And I can totally relate to the ginger ale & saltines situation while pregnant! Sometimes you just need a hit of soda! : )

  9. I´m playing around with homemade liqueurs, and this homemade ginger ale sounds amazing! I never thought it needed yeast, but then it does make sense. This is a great recipe Averie!

  10. I don’t really do soda either but I love ginger so much that every once in a while I NEED a ginger ale or ginger beer! LOVE this homemade version! It’s a must-have in my kitchen!

  11. Homemade ginger ale…. nice,,,, I will have to try it

  12. I am totally intrigued Averie! I absolutely have got to try this out.

  13. So cool!! Kind of in awe right now! I can’t believe you made you own ginger ale! That is awesome!

  14. I’m on the ball this am…I just finished making this and plan to have it with lunch on Saturday! I didn’t have a lemon so used a little lime juice instead. I’ve made almond milk yogurt and I like putting flavored stevia drops in sparkling mineral water (Sweet Leaf even has a root beer flavor). This sounds really good and I’m anxious to taste it!

    • Wow that was FAST! So glad you’re all over this, hours after the post went live! I tried it also with some orange juice rather than lemon juice and you’ll be just fine with the lime. After 2-3 days, I really couldn’t discern any oj taste or any lemon taste; it all just tastes like ale. It’s fairly yeasty, at least mine was, in that ale sense. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  15. Your horchata picture is beautiful! I really, really like that one. And wow, you surprised with me how easy this is. While reading the post, I kept thinking, “I can do this!” Thank you for giving us such a simple, yet so special, option. It looks delicious and I appreciate you pointing out it doesn’t taste exactly like Canada Dry. But if you love that stuff and you still love this, I am SO on board!

  16. i haven’t had so much as a drink of pop in ten years but I think it is so cool yeast and fermentation create the carbonation.

  17. What does using yeast add to make it different? I wonder if you could use a smaller amount of regular water just to get the flavors/melt the sugar and then mix with club? Hmmm. Might try this!

    • If you don’t add the yeast, it would be hard to get the carbonation and the taste of the ALE in the ginger ale. It adds that telltale flavor.

      “could use a smaller amount of regular water just to get the flavors/melt the sugar and then mix with club?” — yes and you’ll get ginger club soda. Not ginger ale, if that makes sense. Close but not quite the same but there are so many ways to go with it, really can’t go wrong!

  18. I’m not really a soda drinker either, but I love the idea of making homemade ginger ale without all the added sugar and other additives of the store bought kind.

  19. I’m really interested in trying this. I’m kind of the same way about pop, I rarely drink it and if I do its usually ginger ale when I have an upset stomach. I’m not a fan of the huge sugar content (and fake colouring….yours looks so natural!) that’s in the store bought brands and I hate the aspartame in diet. Never considered making it myself but now that you’ve posted it I’m wondering why not! I noticed you said it’s not as fizzy and I really like that too. Thanks Averie!

  20. So cool that you made your own ginger ale! I saw Lindsay’s challenge too, but I am not a fan of ginger. At all. I wouldn’t know what to do with all the leftover ginger pieces!

    • I wouldn’t know what to do with all the leftover ginger pieces! <-- they're a tiny ball of mush after making the simple syrup and considering it was about 23 cents worth, it went right into the trash :)

  21. I love making fresh ginger juices! I usually just blend ginger with lemons or limes in water. never thought about adding yeast. Is it me or can ginger get very addictive?

  22. What fun! My memories of ginger ale always involve sickness. That was our preferred beverage when we were sick in bed as kids. Maybe it was just our way of getting ginger ale!

  23. I am super interested in your kombucha posts – somehow I’ve missed those! My husband and I were just talking last night about how much we spend on kombucha (we both drink it almost every day, if not every day), and that we should try making our own. I’ve heard it can be complicated with climate, bacteria, etc. though? Heading over to your posts now to check it out!

    • It can be tricky to get it started but once you do, and get on a cycle of brewing, it all works itself out. Anytime you’re dealing with yeast and active cultures the initial stages are the most critical and then after that, the yeast/culture is a lot more forgiving. happyherbalist.com a GREAT resource!!

      And I read a comment you let on another blog that you’re doing a cleanse right now…you just did one. Girl you’re amazing!

      • Thanks for the tips and the site recommendation! I may try my luck at it this summer when school’s out and I have some time to concentrate on projects like this. And, yes I did a 1-day cleanse yesterday! So much easier than the 5-day, haha!

  24. Great challenge and good job executing it! I’ve never thought to make my own ginger ale!

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