Homemade Ginger Ale

Homemade Ginger Ale makes for a refreshing beverage with lots of zing. Flavorful and spicier than store-bought soda, it can be sweetened to your liking.

homemade ginger ale in a glass shaped like a soda can.

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Easy Homemade Ginger Ale recipe

Ginger ale — oh, how we love you when we’re sick or when we’re on an airplane. You make a wonderful cocktail mixer, too.

But wouldn’t it be great if you could make it more gingery or make it less sweet?

The good news is you can! Homemade ginger ale is easy to make with just a few ingredients, and you can sweeten it however you like.

This spiced soda is loved all over the world. In fact, the ginger ale market size is forecast to reach $3.2 billion by 2026.

This recipe makes a ginger ale concentrate so you can whip up fresh ginger ale with bubbly seltzer or club soda any time you like. Sip it on its own or mix it into cocktails and punches. It’s also great in mocktails, especially when paired with a zero-proof spirit.

More homemade drink recipes: Herbal LimeadeCold Brew Iced TeaCold Brew Coffee

Why you’ll love this recipe

Store-bought ginger ale has its time and place, but making your own ginger ale is even better, and here’s why:

  • Ginger ale is simple to make at home with just a few real ingredients. (And no artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup!)
  • You can make it according to your preferences: sweeten it or enjoy it unsweetened and choose your perfect amount of carbonation.
  • The concentrate keeps in the fridge for a few weeks so you can have a glass of bubbly ginger ale any time you wish.

Additionally, many people enjoy ginger ale for health benefits.

Ginger ale vs. ginger beer

While both non-alcoholic sodas with ginger flavor, ginger ale and ginger beer are slightly different beverages.

Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic soda made of fermented ginger root. It has a strong ginger flavor but doesn’t actually contain any beer. It’s more like a gingery, spicy version of root beer than anything else!

It’s a key ingredient in Moscow Mule cocktails. Here’s a bit more about what ginger beer is and the best uses for it.

On the other hand, ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda. It is usually sweeter and less spicy than ginger beer.

ingredients for homemade ginger ale on a marble counterop.

Ingredients

You only need a handful of ingredients to make homemade ginger ale. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • fresh ginger root
  • water
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon extract (or lemon juice)
  • sweetener
  • soda water

Real ginger will provide much more spice and flavor. You will need about a 6-inch piece of ginger root. I don’t recommend using ground ginger as it creates a grainier texture for the finished drink.

For the sweetener, you can use honey, maple syrup or simple syrup. For sugar-free ginger ale, use sugar-free syrup. Or you can skip the sweetener completely if you prefer.

Instead of club soda, you can also use clear soft drinks like Sprite or Sierra Mist, but you might want to omit the sweetener if you plan to do this.

How to make Ginger Ale

Making this delicious ginger ale at home is a super simple process, very similar to my ginger syrup recipe. I bet if you make it a few times you won’t even need this recipe anymore!

The full recipe is below, but let’s take this step by step with pictures:

First, get out your ginger root. You don’t have to peel it (but if you want to, use a vegetable peeler), but you do need to dice it into ¼ to ½ inch cubes. You will want about 1 cup of ginger root.

ginger root cooking in water in a stainless steel pan.
cooked ginger ale concentrate before straining out the ginger.

Then cover with 4 cups of water in a small saucepan. Simmer water and ginger together over medium heat to infuse the flavor for about 30 minutes until the water has reduced by half. This creates a concentrate, where the liquid has a strong ginger flavor.

a sieve straining out fresh ginger from ginger ale concentrate
pouring ginger root and ginger liquid into a fine-mesh strainer

Let the ginger mixture cool to continue infusing ginger flavor, then strain out the ginger pieces with a fine-mesh strainer. Stir in the extracts.

You can add the sweetener at this point or you can add a little bit to each glass, to taste. (If sweetening with regular white sugar, you’ll want to stir it in while the mixture is hot.)

Once cooled, store in the fridge in an airtight, food-safe container such as a fliptop glass bottle or a mason jar.

a mason jar of ginger ale concentrate.

How to use Ginger Ale Concentrate

Credit for this recipe goes to my best friend’s mom, who used to serve this to me when I went to their house in high school. I’ve been obsessed with making it ever since.

She used to keep a big batch of the concentrate in the fridge, then let us pour our own glasses of ginger ale and sweeten it to our liking.

My favorite sweetener for this ginger ale is honey syrup, which is just a runny honey made by warming honey and water together. Honey can seize when it meets something cold, so the process of making honey syrup helps it mix in a little easier.

Brown sugar syrup is also really good with this. Or have fun with flavored simple syrups, stirring in brown sugar or skip the sweetener altogether.

To make a glass of ginger ale, fill the glass with ice then pour in the ginger concentrate about ¼ full. Top with any kind of cold club soda, sparkling water or flavored seltzer water. Stir gently and enjoy!

pouring club soda into a glass of ice and ginger ale concentrate.

Tips & tricks

Feel free to double or triple this recipe to make even more ginger concentrate.

For extra flavor, you can use more ginger with the same amount of water. You could also add in other whole spices like a cinnamon stick or a piece of star anise to spice things up more.

If carbonation bothers you, you can use distilled water to make a ginger water that still tastes super fresh.

For super fizzy drinks, use a carbonated water maker. (I have this Phillips soda maker.)

Flavor combinations

Combine a glass of homemade ginger ale with a flavored simple syrup to make fun and delicious flavors. Use one of these instead of the plain simple syrup the recipe calls for.

ginger ale in a can-shaped glass on a wooden coaster next to a yellow towel.

What to make with ginger ale

Homemade ginger ale is delicious to sip on its own. I like to add a squeeze of a lemon wedge or lime wedge to mine. It’s so good with fresh lemon and lime juice!

Mix a little bit into your favorite type of tea to make it a ginger tea drink. Or stir it into regular lemonade to make a ginger lemonade.

You can also use it to whip up some fantastic cocktails, such as:

  • Whiskey Ginger cocktail: This is a classic 2-ingredient cocktail featuring bourbon and ginger ale, plus a spritz of lime if you like. Or make its sister, the Jack & Ginger.
  • Dark & Stormy cocktail: This rum drink typically calls for ginger beer, but this homemade ginger ale is so spicy it will work just fine!
  • Presbyterian cocktail: Another gingery bourbon cocktail with a bite that this ginger ale would be perfect for!
  • Virgin Mimosa: Ginger ale makes a great champagne substitute in the classic mimosa. Orange juice adds a sweetness and softness to the sharp ginger bite.

Instead of club soda, you could use hard seltzer or sparkling wine for a boozy glass of ginger ale.

Ginger ale is a great mixer for Shirley Temples and virgin mules, and this homemade version is much zippier than the store-bought kind, so it would make for an even more flavorful mocktail.

Ginger is a classic flavor for the holidays, so try this concentrate in this Cranberry Christmas Punch for more spice.

a glass of ginger ale with lemon slices and a sprig of rosemary for garnish on a wooden coaster

FAQ

How is ginger ale made?

Homemade ginger ale is made by infusing fresh ginger root with sugar and water to make a concentrated syrup. It can then be mixed with soda water to add carbination.

Is ginger ale the same as ginger beer?

While both non-alcoholic sodas with ginger flavor, ginger ale and ginger beer are slightly different beverages. Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic soda made of fermented ginger root. It has a strong ginger flavor but doesn’t actually contain any beer. It’s more like a gingery, spicy version of root beer than anything else. Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda. It is usually sweeter and less spicy than ginger beer.

More drink essentials

rosemary garnishes a glass of ginger ale on a wooden coaster.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Mix up some spicy homemade ginger ale to add to cocktails or sip on its own!
4.99 from 53 votes
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ingredients

  • 1 cup diced ginger root
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract optional
  • ½ cup simple syrup or honey, to taste
  • club soda or seltzer

instructions

  • Add ginger and water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer until the water reduces by half, about 30 minutes. This creates a concentrate, where the liquid has a strong ginger flavor.
  • You can add the sweetener at this point or you can add a little bit to each glass, to taste. (If sweetening with regular sugar or honey, you’ll want to stir it in while the mixture is hot.)
  • Let cool to continue infusing ginger flavor, then strain out the ginger root with a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Once cooled, store the concentrate in the fridge in an airtight, food-safe container like a bottle or mason jar.
  • To make a glass of ginger ale: Fill the glass with ice then pour in the ginger concentrate about ¼ full. Add simple syrup, if desired. Top with club soda or flavored seltzer. The ideal ratio is 1 part ginger ale concentrate to 3 parts bubbles, but play around to find your perfect ratio. Stir gently and enjoy!

notes

Feel free to double or triple this recipe to make even more ginger concentrate.
For extra flavor, you can use more ginger with the same amount of water. You could also add in other whole spices like a cinnamon stick or a piece of star anise to spice things up more.
If carbonation bothers you, you can use distilled water to make a ginger water that still tastes super fresh.
My favorite sweetener for this ginger ale is honey syrup, which is just a runny honey made by warming honey and water together. Honey can seize when it meets something cold, so the process of making honey syrup helps it mix in a little easier.
For sugar-free ginger ale, use sugar-free syrup. Or you can skip the sweetener completely if you prefer.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 8 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 0.5cup Calories: 69kcal Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 0.2g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g Sodium: 20mg Potassium: 65mg Fiber: 0.2g Sugar: 16g Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 8mg Iron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. Krzysztof says

    Hello!

    For how long can i store ginger concentrate in the fridge?

    Or can i freeze it im cubes?

    Best wishes,
    Krzysztof

    • susannah says

      I recommend storing the concentrate in an airtight container (a mason jar works well) in the fridge for up to a few weeks. Enjoy!

  2. Jon says

    why waste the ginger when done? Slice the ginger into thin rounds, follow the recipe and retain about 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add equal weight of white sugar to ginger & simmer stirring constantly until ALMOST dry for AWESOME candied ginger. It will look terrible just befor it gets dry enough but don’t worry, you’re fine.

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