Making homemade ginger ale is nearly work-free, relying on yeast to ferment the mixture, thereby creating carbonation and fizz. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the syrup into a clean 2-liter bottle (I used two one-quart glass jars (each quart holds 4 cups).
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g
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 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?
This is great OP! I’m from a small town in Sweden, and it’s not always easy to get my hands on ginger ale.
This is done all the time in the Caribbean islands, however the correct name for this recipe and style is Ginger Beer. We drink the unfermented version every Sunday (Sunday Lunch is the biggest and most fancy thing each week), and make Ginger Beer for Christmas :).
I often make ginger syrup and add it to sparkling water. I’ve been meaning to try the yeast method but the syrup disappears as soon as it’s made. I usually use a little lemon and mint with a whole lot of ginger and a very little bit of sugar/honey for my syrup. That way it’s nice and spicy with a hint of sweet. This has inspired me to get out the mason jars and try brewing some.
I love ginger ale and so does my husband! I’ve made my own root beer before but it used dry ice instead of yeast for the carbonation. Maybe dry ice can work for this recipe too it make make it more fizzy plus it wouldn’t have a yeasty taste! Hmmmmmm I might have to experiment (plus I just love watching dry ice bubble and fog)
Ginger ale is one of my favourite sodas. I’ve only tried a homemade version once (at a restaurant), and it was delicious!
However, I suspect that they didn’t use the yeast method, because it was very, very fizzy. They probably just added some sparkling water.
I like the idea of making it on your own, because you can adjust the sugar quantity to your liking. I often find that sodas are way too sweet!
Adding yeast for some fizzy carbonation sounds very interesting. Does it affect the taste at all?
The taste is unique and not like storebought. I tried to describe it in the post as best I could. Hope you try it!
I have never made homemade ginger ale. There’s something seriously wrong with that since I love the stuff. Your version looks amazing!
I never drink soda except when I make mixed drinks or go out to eat and it’s always ginger ale. I’m kinda excited about the idea of making my own.
Oh, I am betting that this tastes amazing!
Oh gosh, I never thought of making homemade ginger ale! (Canadian Dry is my go-to upset stomach drink.) No doubt this homemade version is even better!
Ahh–this was ready today and is darn good!! It’s also not lasting very long. I like ginger but it can easily be too strong for me. I used 1/3 cup as written and love it, so someone who is a huge ginger fan could probably use a little more. My husband agreed the taste is reminiscent of sake and suggested I look for one of those huge pickle jars to brew a BIG batch in!!
Your husband has a good idea :) They sell 2-gallon glass jars or 1 to 1.5-gallon at Target in the housewares section for 14.99 and 19.99 At least they used to b/c when I first started brewing kombucha, I needed to get something like that (and multiple ones) and that was where I got mine. Or BB&Beyond or similar.
And if you let it go for 4-5 days or a week (like I did), it’s very ale-like. More ale than soda; your hubs would probably like that!
Glad the 1/3 cup worked out for you. It’s so hard measuring by volume for something like that which is why I gave both a weight and a volume measure. Plus, I do think some ginger is just much more robust than others. Glad it all worked out!
Averie, great minds think alike – I am a ginger ale freak! I buy the stuff from Jamaica at Trader Joe’s but now I cannot wait to try your recipe! BTW, Happy Mother’s Day –
I’ve never tried theirs but want to now! I am headed there today to stock up – maybe I’ll try it! And thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes
Now that is super perfect! Homemade ginger ale??? This is what I need. I seriously drink ginger ale by the cases.
You’d love this then!
You can make your own ginger ale!? Perfect! I too lived on it when I was pregnant. Ugh!
I.was.so.sick.for.9.months. Shudder to even think of it!
I’m not a soda person either but I’d gladly take a glass of ginger ale any day! And who knew it was actually “make-able” right at home?!
Wow! I love the simplicity of this! My husband would really enjoy this!
So funny — I, too, lived on ginger ale and saltines and the occasional can of tuna while pregnant. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, like Kate Middleton, for my entire 9 months. I got SOME relief from a medication which the FDA has since yanked off the market for no good reason, but even with that mediation, when I delivered I was 20 lbs LIGHTER than when I got pregnant. Needless to say my now-adult son was my only child, lol!
I had H.G. too. It was horrible. I was.so.sick.for.9.months!!! I got relief…from…delivering my baby. Then, I finally wasn’t sick anymore and I was the same with you with the weight. And it’s a good thing I had only planned on ever having 1 child :)
Love Ginger Ale! Will have to try this homemade version!
Mmmm ginger ale is one of my favorite cocktail mixers! I usually don’t add too much though because most store bought ginger ale is too sweet for me, it would be great to try making it at home so I could control the amount of sugar in it. Wonderful idea! And beautiful photos, too!
Coming from you, Eva, this is such a high, high compliment about my photos (and I really don’t like these particular photos; weird lighting that day) but thank you! :)
This looks really good. I love the pictures of the fresh ginger!
Ginger ale was always my soda of choice growing up, though I haven’t had any soda for probably ten years. I can imagine that this would be amazing with all of the fresh ginger, and just might convince me to try soda again!In fact, I think this would be a great mother’s day treat.
I need to try it out, I like ginger alle, but I’ve never tried to make it at home. Interesting idea :)
So many wonderul recipes I would have never thought to make on my own before. Averie Cooks is a DIY cooking blog, seriously. Hot fudge, Bailey’s, and now gingerale. While I depend on gingerale when my stomach is hurting, I actually love to drink it when I’m feeling great too! It’s a win-win, a cure-all, and is so refreshing with a squeeze of lime on a hot day. I hardly ever drink soda and never liked it as a kid. I would always ask or water (hello, boring). But I can’t get enough gingerale. My other love? Fresca. So good!
Fresca..havent had it in years but yes, so good. As a kid I used to drink Squirt which also has that sort of lime-ish citrus-y vibe. And yea, just call me Laura Ingalls Wilder, out here on the prairie DIY’ing everything I can :)
I bet the fresh ginger makes this amazing!
Although I am a huge fan of ginger ale, I don’t like the natural stuff. It taste too much like ginger for me if that makes sense. But this ginger ale would taste great in a cocktail!
Thanks for sharing this! Ginger ale is my favorite soda, and my go to natural flavor when making soda with my soda stream. I’m going to try this and compare.
Oh, how I love ginger ale and ginger…everything! Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Averie. Oh, if you love ginger…I hope you’ll check out my recent Cinco de Mayo recipe for Coconut Ginger Lime Margaritas. The simple syrup starts with coconut water, sweetened with agave nectar and infused with fresh ginger and whole black peppercorns. A new tasty twist! Pinning your Homemade Ginger Ale to group board! xo
I have been wanting to try making ginger ale for a while! I sounds like great fun!
I LOVE ginger ale. If I could only have one kind of soda the rest of my life, that would be my pick. I have done a “homemade” version MANY years ago (10 maybe?) by making a ginger syrup and then mixing it with soda water, but never a real fermented version like this. I’ve been into making water kefir lately (with the water kefir grains and all that) and I usually add ginger to it when I drink it.
I am all about fermenting stuff and DIY everything that I can. As long as it is cost and time effective, I’m gonna DIY. DIM? Whatever.
You know we dont get ginger ale in India, so a big thanks for sharing this recipe. :)
I love this SO much. My husband is a HUGE ginger ale lover and I honestly never thought to use yeast to get the ferment and fizzle. What a wonderful idea and I LOVE this challenge! Fantastic!
I’ve always wanted to try this, I bet it tastes incredible. I’d make a Dark ‘n Stormy with it :)
And I don’t even know what that is…but I think I want one!
Cool. Jason loves ginger ale. It’s been sooo long since I’ve had it actually. I remember liking it as a kid until I had it too often when I was sick – basically sick a lot so I was given lots of ginger ale and/or 7-up. So now there’s that fun association!
Oh god girl that’s horrible! I feel the same way about pepto-bismal. Even SEEING those pink bottles for me is an instant nausea-inducer!
Great challenge and good job executing it! I’ve never thought to make my own ginger ale!
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!
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!
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?
Yes, the more you have, the more you want :) Same with spicy food. I mentioned this in the post!
we love ginger ale! Cool!
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 :)
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!
Glad you enjoyed & that you may try it!
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.
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!
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.
There are times when I’ve gone nearly that long as well without any pop (I grew up in MN where everyone says pop, but here in CA and most everywhere else, it’s always soda)
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!
Glad you like the post and the do-ability of the recipe and thanks for the horchata pic compliments. I have always liked those too :)
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!
So cool!! Kind of in awe right now! I can’t believe you made you own ginger ale! That is awesome!
Thanks & so easy!
I am totally intrigued Averie! I absolutely have got to try this out.
Homemade ginger ale…. nice,,,, I will have to try it
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!
If you try it, LMK!
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!
Your homemade liqueurs sound wonderful! I’d love to help you taste-test:)
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! : )
Yes you sure do need a little hit of soda sometimes! Especially when preggers!
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 :)
THat’s impressive that you’re already making your own…very smart thinking! :)
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! :)
It’s soo good! Perfect for warmer weather!
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!
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. :)
mmmm, Sangria! I could go for that!
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!
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!
cranberry, diet hansen’s ginger ale and a squeeze of lime = that sounds so good! I want one right now!
We LOVE ginger ale! I bought some ginger root last week too. This would probably be good for my tummy!
I think you’d love this. It’s not like commercial ginger ale; it’s much more beer-like, at least mine was, in that fermented, yeasty good kind of way! And yes, great for your tummy!