I’m not much of a soda person (I am from the northeast, it’s called soda). I personally haven’t purchased a cola type soda in well over a decade. Typically, at home, if I want something soda-like, I’ll pour some juice in a glass and dilute it with sparkling water et voilà, “soda” – it doesn’t even need sugar. However, I do have one weakness when it comes to bubbly beverages – ginger ale.
For me, ginger ale is the ultimate summer drink. Spicy, sweet, and tangy, after long sun-shiney days out by the lake, it seems to be the perfect respite from the afternoon heat (yes, Switzerland does actually have heat in the Summer). Ipod and (now) walking baby in hand, we take a trip to the lakeshore and look out across the way admiring the view (check out my profile on VSCO grid for more mobile switzerland pics!)
And how could I resist hanging out with these cute kids??
Part of my desire to create a homemade version of ginger ale is simply because I haven’t been able to find any here in Switzerland. Ginger ale is historically an American creation, and maybe my love of this soda just hasn’t made its way across the ocean yet. I still remember in my grad school days one of our favorite local cafés in town called North Star that would make a ginger ale from scratch right in front of you when you ordered it, and I swear it was heaven in a glass. It’s now been years since I’ve had their ginger ale so I’m really going off of just my own memory of flavor when it comes to this recipe, but I was quite pleased with the result.
Garnished with some fresh mint, a spritz of lime, and a little ice, I’m so in love with this drink, as well as these awesome looking glasses I picked up at a local brocante a couple weeks ago. Speaking of photos, this was the first time I had used natural light in a long while – seriously, the last natural light food images were taken last March – and also the first time in a long while since I had done a photoshoot of any drinks. The key I think for drinks is backlight – so that you have that nice “glow” coming through the glass and the ingredients – now if I could keep my ice from floating so much and if I could freeze it fast enough to keep it from getting so cloudy I’d be set! But for now you have to deal with cloudy ice that floats – however at least now I know ginger ale can be super easy to make at home, and photos or no, I see a lot of ginger ale in our future!
- 1/2 lb. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 4 cups water
- zest of one lime
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 part ginger syrup
- 2 parts sparkling water
- small spritz of lime juice
- fresh mint and lime to garnish
- Add all the ginger syrup ingredients together in a pan and bring to a boil, then let simmer over med heat until reduced to 50% volume. Strain out the ginger pieces, and let the syrup cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
- In a glass, mix together ginger syrup, sparkling water, a little lime juice and muddle in some fresh mint and serve over ice. Enjoy!
Also, I have a very happy occasion to share this drink with you all – you see, one of my friends and fellow food photography enthusiasts, Jessica of Sunny Side Up, is going to have a baby! As part of a little virtual shower for her, I’d like to offer up a toast of some of this ginger ale, and wish her and her little one all the best