Home > Food & Drink > Drinks > Give a twist to your holiday soiree with the non-alcoholic Ginger Ale
Give a twist to your holiday soiree with the non-alcoholic Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale is a carbonated beverage that is flavoured with ginger. Usually, it is consumed on its own but more often than not, it is also used in cocktails. Given that it has a rather simple recipe; it can be made in-house with a few pantry staples and be enjoyed even on its own; in case you’re a teetotaller. Although one can always get ginger ale in stores, which is usually classified as a soda, the addition of sugar or high fructose syrup and artificial flavouring can have a bad impact on health if consumed frequently or for a prolonged period. Ginger ale contains preservatives (these are rarely good for health) like citric acid, sodium benzoate, and caramel which is not the best for consumption.

There’s also a traditional style of ginger ale that’s available or can be made in the house – it is almost similar to that of kombucha and a lot healthier, this version is made with yeast or ginger bug as a microbial starter culture. A ginger bug is similar to the SCOBY, or starter culture which is used to make sourdough bread or kombucha. It is derived from either the ginger beer plant or fresh ginger root. With fermentation, the bacteria and yeast grow to produce natural carbonation which is good for the gut. This also tends to contain more natural ingredients, such as cane sugar, and fresh ginger root. With the easy ginger ale recipe mentioned above, it all comes together in a jiffy – because there’s nothing better than the homemade stuff, hands down.

How to make the best Ginger Ale?

If you’re wondering, it is quite easy to make Ginger Ale; the recipe is rather simple and doesn’t take more than 30 minutes from start to finish. We encourage you to drop the carbonated ones from the shelves of departmental stores or supermarkets and try your hands at this ginger ale recipe.

Begin with boiling water and ginger in a pan till it simmers. Now turn off the heat and let the ginger sit in the water for around 20 minutes before straining. Once done, strain out the liquid and let it rest. In another saucepan, make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar into boiling water and set aside once done. Now, onto making the ginger ale; mix half a cup of ginger water with 1/3rd cup of the simple syrup. Top it with 1/2 cup of club soda and ice, if desired. Finish with a few drops of lemon juice and a lime wedge and mint for garnish.

We’ve also added a fermented ginger ale recipe in case you want a healthier, funkier version of the same. To make this, just add grated ginger, sugar and water to a pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for an hour. After an hour, strain the syrup through a mesh into a bowl. Now cool the bowl in the refrigerator till it reaches room temperature. Once it has reached the desired temperature, pour the syrup into a bottle, then add the yeast, lemon juice and water and secure the cap. Gently shake it to mix all the ingredients and leave it at room temperature for 48 hours. Once it is rested, check for the right amount of carbonation and cool it in the fridge before consumption.

What are the benefits of Ginger Ale?

It is important to note that although ginger ale has an easy recipe and comes across as a carbonated drink which otherwise might not be recommended, it does have quite a few health benefits that cannot be discounted. However, there are a few disadvantages to consuming ginger ale, frequently, particularly for people with certain chronic health conditions. Read on for more.

Helps in easing Nausea

Know to help ease nausea, beverages that contain ginger in any form are usually helpful when it comes to reducing any sort of digestive discomfort, which is why we may experience nausea in the first place. The carbonation in the beverage, in this case, ginger ale helps in relieving the stomach.

Known to help with morning sickness

The American Pregnancy Association has recommended ginger ale soda as one of the remedies for morning sickness in pregnant women, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy as they’re more prone to it; the nausea is created due to the increase in pregnancy-related hormones and ginger ale helps by relieving any sort of discomfort in the stomach.

Helps in easing chronic pain

Some studies have derived that ginger helps in easing pain; one of the examples would be a case of osteoarthritis, as ginger helped in reducing pain and disability for patients. It has also been found that ginger can help in reducing menstrual pain in many women.

Known to reduce inflammation

Ginger is known for having anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, both of which helps in reducing inflammation in the body; something that a lot of women with PCOS suffers from. However, in this case, the consumption of ginger ale that uses natural sugars would yield the best result as too much artificial sugar intake can do the exact opposite.

A cautionary note: Although ginger ale has a lot of health benefits, certain individuals should ideally avoid consuming ginger in high amounts; particularly people who use blood thinners and people with low blood pressure; as ginger may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.

It is also no secret that beverages with sugar and additives are not healthy and are rarely recommended; they can lead to health complications in the long run, particularly due to the high addition of fructose syrup, which can be extremely harmful to some individuals.

The consumption of sugary beverages can lead to stomach issues as studies have found that artificially sweetened beverages can often be bad for people who suffer from bowel syndrome. It is also harmful to people with Type 2 diabetes as a direct link has been established between sugary beverages and diabetes. It is no secret that the insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes is what makes this so difficult for patients, which is why they’re always advised to lower their sugar intake by all means.

Another issue with sugary sweet beverages is dental cavities – sugar is known to cause tooth issues and when not cleaned properly, it can lead to dental cavities and enamel erosion as acid builds up over time. Owing to all of the aforementioned reasons, it is in our best interest to indulge in sweet beverages occasionally and not make a habit of them.

Hero Image: Courtesy bluebirdprovisions/Unsplash; Featured Images: Courtesy kimdaniels/Unsplash

Give a twist to your holiday soiree with the non-alcoholic Ginger Ale

Kamalika Mukherjee

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