Homemade Ginger Ale

by Jenn on August 26, 2013

in Beverages,Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Photography

Homemade Ginger Ale

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!)


Château D'Ouchy



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.

Homemade Ginger Ale

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!

Homemade Ginger Ale

Homemade Ginger Ale

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 cups ginger syrup

Homemade Ginger Ale


    Ginger syrup:
  • 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
  • Mixing the drink:
  • 1 part ginger syrup
  • 2 parts sparkling water
  • small spritz of lime juice
  • fresh mint and lime to garnish


  1. 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.
  2. 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 :)


To check out all of the shower recipes, be sure to check out the roundups by Jessica and Krystal (note to GF readers – recipes in roundups may not be gluten free).


Zoe August 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Fantastic photos, Jenn, and beautiful styling. I’m not much of a pop – or soda – person either, but I love ginger ale :) – at one point, it was like I was addicted to it! I’ve never tried making it myself, though. My family used to do that, too, with the fruit juice and mineral water.

Jenn August 27, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thanks so much Zoe! I think technically ginger ale is supposed to be a fermented drink w/ yeast added, but I’d rather just add the bubbly water instead :)

Holly August 27, 2013 at 1:41 am

How fitting to share ginger ale for your virtual baby shower. Isn’t ginger supposed to ease morning sickness? It’s worth a try at least! Your drink looks lovely!

Jenn August 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

Ha yes, ginger is a miracle worker that way… ever since being pregnant I have incorporated ginger into much more of my daily life, it seems to do well for a lot of things :)

Lisa August 27, 2013 at 2:01 am

Cool! Adorable pic of your mini me baby and Daddy!

Rosa August 27, 2013 at 8:23 am

Like you, I’m not a big fan of sodas, but nonetheless, I wouldn’t giving your ginger ale a try. It looks ever so refreeshing and delicious!

Gorgeous pictures, as always! I love to see Lac Léman and Switzerland immortalized through your lenses.



Jenn August 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

Thanks so much Rosa! In this case the lake shots were all by my ipod… one day I’m going to have my stuff together enough to actually remember to take the big camera with me…

Ash-foodfashionparty August 28, 2013 at 12:53 am

Oh beautiful Switzerland, love the shot. I do love my sodas but I never drink it, but your drink with ginger ale looks so good and the picture is so cute.

Jenn September 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thanks so much!

Carol, Simply Gluten-free August 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Great pictures! This ginger ale looks awesome!

Jenn September 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thanks Carol!

Elena August 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hey, Jenn,
I would like to say that honey shold not be boild, becouse over 60 degrees C is loosing its miricle ingredians, so you may melt in later in the ready ale.


Jenn September 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Oh thanks for letting me know Elena, I’ll make sure to add it in only at the end then!

Kate September 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Great work. You food photos and landscapes are always gorgeous.

Sally - My Custard Pie September 5, 2013 at 5:31 am

I’m not into fizzy drinks at all but real ginger beer is an exception. Liking your ginger ale a lot – it looks so beautiful.

nusrat2010 September 10, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Thanks for some dreamy, sunny, surreal, magnificent pictures :) And I could die a thousand deaths just to have a sip of your Edenic ginger ale from that beautiful bluish glass.

El September 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I’ve always wondered how to make homemade ginger ale. Looks great and I can’t wait to try the recipe. The baby is so cute!

Lori September 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

For crystal clear ice cubes, boil the water first and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring in trays to freeze. RO or distilled water is preferred, but whatever water you normally drink should be fine as well. The boiling is to get all of the air bubbles out. Clarity has nothing to do with speed of freezing. Hope that helps!

Jasmine | The Gluten Free Scallywag September 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

Gorgeous shots Jenn. I do love Ginger Ale, my friend makes her own with keffir and other natural ingredients, I’m hoping to try it out one day. Love the look on your little one’s face in that photo – so very cute!

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