Fresh ginger ale with basil
I love the homemade ginger ale so much at Columbus’s Northstar Cafe that I had to make some of my own. Mint in my garden is sparse this year, but basil makes a fresh, unexpected substitute. This ginger syrup recipe comes from Hollywood’s Grub Restaurant via Imbibe Magazine and is outstanding for cocktails as well as ginger ale.
Ginger syrup ingredients
- 8-10 ounces fresh ginger (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 cups water
Ginger syrup directions
- Peel ginger if you are saving it to eat later (see note below). Slice thinly or chop ginger into small pieces and place in medium pot.
- Add sugar and water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for one hour until liquid reduces to an amber syrup.
- Strain the syrup through cheese cloth or a fine sieve (twice if you like) into a large jar or bottle. Refrigerate.
Ginger ale ingredients
- Ginger syrup
- Soda water or sparkling mineral water
- Fresh basil (or mint)
- Lime or lemon wedges
Ginger ale directions
- Fill a glass with ice, basil leaves and lime or lemon wedge. Add ginger syrup to fill 1/3 of the glass and muddle with a spoon to release juice from citrus and oil from basil.
- Fill rest of glass with sparkling water and serve.
- Save the ginger from syrup-making for ginger candy, or simply refrigerate or freeze and snack on it at your leisure. It packs a punch, but it’s sweet, spicy and excellent for digestion.
- Ginger syrup is great for cocktails too. Spike your ale with rum, bourbon or vodka, or try a sleepyhead, with orange, lemon, mint and brandy.
Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.