Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: Honey-Sweetened Ginger Ale {GUEST POST}

February 20th, 2014 · 25 Comments · Recipes

This is a guest post from the fabulously talented Shaina Olmanson of Food for my Family.

Natural Honey Sweetened Ginger Ale Recipe

Papers are sprawled across the dining room table as my kids crunch numbers with pencils. In the kitchen I field questions ranging from algebraic equations to division to which side the “stick” goes on the number nine as I load lunchbox containers into the dishwasher and start preparing the family dinner.

As homework is finished and put away, the kids come to join me in prepping our next meal. There are vegetables to wash and chop, often pots that need stirring, and the table, once cleared, needs to be set.

One of my favorite surprises to play on my children right under their noses is to change up what’s in their dinner glass. In the commotion of six people all doing something different, a simple pitcher switch in my husband’s hand will fill dinner glasses with something other than water or milk, and it won’t be until after grace is said and forks are raised that one of them will take a sip of surprise.

We generally offer the same two beverages for meals and in between with a few exceptions. Tea and tisane make an appearance – especially in the middle of winter – with herbal, fruit, and ginger tisanes being offered to soothe sore throats or warm cold fingers and bellies before bed. Coffee and wine are left to the adults, clearly, and that leaves my kids without much access to sweetened beverages of any kind.

While we may not stock up on soda, I know it’s important to teach my children how to appreciate a special drink every once in a while and also how to drink them responsibly so they can manage themselves when it is an option outside the home. I hope to avoid the forbidden fruit mentality that can be a result of overly zealous dietary restrictions and keep our food options open and positive.

Plus, there are certain times when a bubbling glass of soda hits the spot: It’s refreshing after a workout or on hot summer days. It helps soothe an upset stomach when you’re sick. It also helps calm cravings for something sweet. Soda can also serve to make a meal extra special and be a way to celebrate.

Ginger ale happens to be a family favorite when it comes to any type of soda, and so it’s the one we make most often.

An abundance of spicy ginger that infuses itself into this syrup makes for a bubbly soda with a bit of a spicy kick. Because we control how it comes together, we have the added health benefits of fresh ginger in a special drink our whole family enjoys. If you are a ginger aficionado and like your ginger ale extra spicy, finely mince a bit of the cooked ginger after straining, and then add it right back into the syrup.

This recipe is adapted from my sucanat version of the same ginger soda. If you are so inclined, you may reduce the sucanat a bit and add a few stevia drops to up the sweetness for a lower glycemic index beverage. If you’re looking for another wonderful honey-sweetened soda, try this lemongrass version.

Recipe: Honey-Sweetened Ginger Ale

Natural Honey Sweetened Ginger Ale Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Honey-Sweetened Ginger Ale
 
Author:
Recipe type: beverage
Ingredients
  • 1 c. fresh ginger root
  • 2 c. water
  • ½ c. raw honey
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime peel
  • Sparkling water (examples on Amazon)
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Peel the ginger root and thinly slice.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the ginger root, water, honey, and lime peel. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
  4. Strain the ginger pieces and lime peel, and pour the cooled syrup into an airtight container.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. To prepare the ginger ale, mix together about 2 tablespoons of syrup with 6 ounces of sparkling water over ice. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy.
Notes
Regarding the bubbles: You can use any type of sparkling water or club soda for these recipes. Keep in mind that your final product will mirror what you're mixing in, so a sparkling water with small bubbles and lower carbonation will result in a soda of similar mouth feel. For us, we carbonate our still water using a Sodastream (on Amazon, aff. link).

Note from Katie: I’m so grateful to Shaina for sharing this recipe, which I made from her blog last summer (the sucanat version), as part of The Ginger Challenge Series. It’s so. much. fun. And her philosophy on avoiding the “forbidden fruit mentality” is speaking to me hard core! Do visit her blog and take special note not only of her superb from-scratch recipes and photography, but also her One Deal, Five Meals category that will help you be a frugal real food master!

Shaina Olmanson is a work-at-home mom of four, feeding both family and friends one plate at a time. She shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food at Food for my Family as she strives to teach her children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced. Follow Shaina on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or G+.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon from which Kitchen Stewardship will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • Carmen

    I’m thinking water kefir might be good with this too.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Good call, Carmen, I agree!! :) Katie

  • Laila

    I love ginger ale! Is there a way to do this with organic dried ginger? I have some from Mountain Rose Herbs and this looks to be very simple, and not taking up too much room or time to make. Thanks ever so much for this guest post!

    Shaina Reply:

    Hi, Laila. I assume you’re talking about the large dried pieces of ginger root and not the powdered variety? If so, I think you could probably make this recipe with them, but it won’t have quite the same potency that fresh ginger has. I’ve never done this myself, so you would need to do a bit of trial and error here, but I would use about the same amount of dried pieces as I would the fresh, and I’d probably let it simmer a good 10 minutes longer to pull out a bit more of the flavor and then let it steep until it is completely cool.

    Laila Reply:

    They’re actually small chopped pieces of ginger. I’d have to wait until payday to get some fresh organic ginger.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Laila,
    I think they would still work – I think Shaina mostly meant that you’re not thinking about using powdered ginger. I wish I had some on hand to try! :) Katie

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Laila,
    I was totally wondering the same thing, since I’ve recommended MRH’s big ginger pieces for other recipes – I know not everyone even has access to fresh ginger! If you try it, I hope you’ll let us know how it goes. Thanks! :) Katie

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong

    Shaina or Katie, would you say there’s a big difference in flavor from the sucanat/sugar recipe? If so, is it possible to describe, or share which you prefer?

    They all look delicious! I’ve had tummy trouble the last day or two and actually bought some ‘fancy’ ginger ale from my natural foods store last night, and some fresh ginger for tea brewing…so this was a super timely recipe post! (I’m sure it’ll be much cheaper and tastier than the 4 bottles I bought at the store…hopefully even a bit less spicey.)

    Shaina Reply:

    Hi, Krystal. I think they’re both equally good and satisfying if you’re craving ginger ale. Depending on what type of honey you use, the honey can be rather prominent. I’d recommend a nice, neutral honey or one that has a lime- or citrus-like flavoring (Basswood honey in my neck of the woods has a hint of lime) if you’re worried about flavor playing an issue. Really, though, the ginger shines through in this recipe, and I like both sucanat and honey equally.

    Krystal Wight Armstrong Reply:

    Thanks for that helpful reply : )

  • Alison @ Ingredients, INc.

    absolutely love this and Shaina

  • Lenetta

    Yum! I do love ginger ale. I think I’ll save my raw honey and use regular stuff, though, since this is heated.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Good call on that one! :) Katie

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  • Tania via Facebook

    Karina Peoples

  • Katie via Facebook

    Thanks, Sara!!!

  • Katie via Facebook

    Can’t wait to make this☺️

  • Rachel via Facebook

    Looks great, though I’m pretty sure cooking raw honey destroys the good stuff (enzymes, etc) in it.

  • Barbara via Facebook

    Great “after yoga” thirst quencher! :)

  • Steven via Facebook

    If you think of it, get two.

  • Tonya via Facebook

    This is our go to drink for upset tummies now that we don’t buy pop.

  • via Facebook

    Yes, if you cook it over 116F Rachel Mitchell, you’re right. Still likely better for your health than white sugar. I’ve made it with sucanat too, simple, plus cutting the sucanat and adding liquid stevia to the final cup, to taste. Whatever is least expensive for you! :)

  • sarah

    Hi! I was wondering about the lime peel. Is it supposed to be the whole peel or just the zest? Bc I just made it w the whole peel and I think the pithy part of the peel is giving it a slightly bitter flavor. Thanks :)

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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