Natural Ginger Ale Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: Ashley Centola



3 Ratings

  • Makes 2 Liters

Jump to Recipe

Author Notes

While glass bottles look pretty, I wouldn't recommend using them during the carbonation process here. A plastic bottle will allow you to feel when the pressure has built up in the bottle due to the carbon dioxide. Once the soda has carbonated, you can then transfer the soda to a glass bottle for serving, if you please.

Champagne yeast can be found online, or you can check if there are any home brewing shops in your area. If you live in New York, I know Brooklyn Homebrew carries it. —Ashley Centola

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • Clean, plastic 2 Liter bottle
  • Funnel
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • 2 cupswater
  • 3/4 cupraw turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoonfreshly grated ginger root
  • 1/8 cupfresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • Two swipes of nutmeg on a microplane
  • 1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/4 teaspoonChampagne yeast (I used Lalvin brand)
  • For lemon verbena ginger ale, you will need about 15 lemon verbena leaves and 3 more black peppercorns
  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add grated ginger, lemon juice, black peppercorns, two swipes of nutmeg on a microplane, and salt. Let steep for at least one hour. (If adding lemon verbena leaves, do so here)
  2. Using a funnel, pour the ginger syrup base into a clean, two-liter bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, leaving a few inches of space at the top, then add the yeast.
  3. Cap the bottle tightly and give it a shake. Store at room temperature, preferably in a shaded area, for about 48 hours. I placed mine in a kitchen cabinet for good measure (my roommate was probably wondering why there were four bottles of mysterious liquid nestled in with our glasses.) You'll know it's carbonated when the bottle feels rock-solid.
  4. Twist off the cap very slowly to release the pressure. You may even have to twist a little bit, wait a minute, twist a little more, wait a minute, and so on, until you're in the clear to remove the cap completely. One of my batches ended up taking at least 5 minutes before I could fully twist off the cap without it fizzing over.
  5. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the soda over an ice-filled glass and serve. If you made the lemon verbena ginger ale, add some fresh leaves to the glass to garnish.
  6. If you're not drinking your ginger ale immediately, be sure to refrigerate the bottle once it has reached the point of carbonation. If left out at room temperature, more carbon dioxide will be produced, and you definitely do not want the bottle to explode when you open it. Yeast is a powerful thing, people. I can attest to this.It went a little something like this: I strained the soda into a glass bottle, apparently under the impression that I'm some kind of magician (I'm not) who can magically catch every little bit of yeast in the soda. (I didn't.) And so without thinking, I made the mistake of leaving the bottle out on the kitchen table for a few days. I went to open it last night, just to be matched with a force that can only be compared to a broken, spewing fire hydrant. I was covered, as was the wall, the floor, the clean dishes that were still in the dish rack from last week, and pretty much anything else within a two foot radius. This ginger ale should keep in the refrigerator for at least a week without going flat. I have a couple of batches in the back of my fridge that I've only opened a few times since I made them two weeks ago, and they're still fully carbonated.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Horto

  • bmallorca

  • Ashley Centola

  • MissBrendaWi

Recipe by: Ashley Centola

Ashley is an aspiring, Brooklyn-based food and lifestyle photographer with a love for baking, cooking, styling, and all things creative. She is inspired by wholesome foods and simplicity. You'll never see her turn down a piece of cheesecake or her family's Italian food. Her blog, Simple Craves & Olive Oil, focuses on seasonally inspired dishes, influenced by her educational background in nutrition.

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12 Reviews

MissBrendaWi June 30, 2014

I'm looking forward to trying this.

Ashley C. June 30, 2014

Happy to hear that, Brenda!

Horto June 28, 2014

can instant yeast be used?

Ashley C. June 30, 2014

I haven't tried instant yeast, but after reading a bit about it online, I think it could work. It should carbonate the drink, but I'm just not sure if the flavor would be slightly affected. If you try it out, I'd love to know your results!

dorothy June 27, 2014

So where does an everyday home cook get such an exotic product like champagne yeast ?

Ashley C. June 27, 2014

Hi Dorothy,
I bought mine at a local home brew shop (mentioned under Author Notes), however if you do not have one near you, you can always buy it online :) Here is a link to it on Amazon:

bmallorca June 23, 2014

I am DEFINITELY trying this. I love how dangerous it is : )
Thanks for the recipe!

Ashley C. June 27, 2014

Yay! Hope you love it :)

Eddie June 15, 2014

When is the yeast added to the mixture?

Ashley C. June 15, 2014

Hi Eddie,

My mistake! It is added right before you cap the bottle.

Eddie June 15, 2014

Thank you!

Eddie June 15, 2014

Thank you!

Natural Ginger Ale Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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