Holistic Recipe: Homemade Ginger Ale

Those of you who have been following my ordeals with homemade orangina know that I’ve been promising to give you my take on Sally Fallon’s recipe for homemade ginger ale for a few blogs now. I wanted to have a finished product to report on before giving you the recipe so it took a few days.

This ginger ale is made by the same process that the orangina, and the beet kvass I’m so fond of, were made – lactofermentation. The process involves straining a good quality yogurt through a coffee filter (my new preferred method) and using the probiotic rich whey that strains off to ferment the beverage. According to Fallon, this is how the drinks were traditionally made and only since the process has become industrialized have the drinks become non-fermented, unhealthy and artificially carbonated.

First I’ll give you the original recipe, followed by my own commentary. Recipe for Homemade Ginger Ale.

Homemade Ginger Ale (from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions)

3/4 c ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 c fresh squeezed lime juice (about two limes)
1/4 – 1/2 c Rapadura (I was told by a clerk at a health food store that this is no longer available in Canada, so I used raw cane sugar instead. Remember, this is to feed the lactic bacteria, so sugar replacements like stevia won’t work)
2 t. sea salt (unrefined)
1/4 c whey
2 quarts filtered water
Place all ingredients in a 2-quart jug. Stir well and cover tightly. Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to the refrigerator. This will keep for several months chilled. The ginger ale I made turned out well, but as with the orangina, it wasn’t perfect. Although the orangina tasted off because of a mistake I made in the process, the ginger ale tasted fantastic – not too sweet, gingery, with the slightest bit of spiciness from the ginger. But, while the orangina was as fizzy and bubbly as any store-bought carbonated beverage, the ginger ale was flat.

I’m not sure what happened with it or how I could make the bubbles show up, but the taste was great. I’ll definitely be trying the recipe again and I’ll be sure to let you know if I the bubbles appear. Until then, I may mix it with mineral water, or just enjoy it flat.

Here are other recipes of Ginger: Sesame Ginger Snappers Recipe and Carrot Ginger Soup.

Have you ever experimented with making your own carbonated drinks? Let us know how it went and what you learned from the experience.