Ginger Ale

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When we were in Jamaica, we drank some pret-ty fancy cocktails.

Hmm. Wait. Did I?…

To be honest, for the first few days, I mostly committed myself to (delish) rum and diet coke, vowing to get fancy post-vows.

And post-zipping-up-the-dress.

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However, throughout the week, I did dabble in some pretty awesome concoctions:
- One welcome-to-Jamaica rum punch
- One mudslide (o.m.g.)
- Two yellow birds (kinda weird, but didn’t stop me from ordering the second one…)
- One cappuccino with their resident rum creme (yes.)
- A Jamaican-50 special green drink in honour of Jamaica’s 50 years of independence (ohhh, yes. We were not only in Jamaica for Bolt’s Olympic victory, but also for the very day that the Jamaicans were celebrating a half decade of independence. Unknowingly, very well planned.)
- Several frozen pina coladas (mmm hmmm.) and a frozen strawberry daiquiri
- Some other fancy drink that I ordered two or three times, whose name eludes me at the moment. It had rum, vodka, banana liqueur, orange juice, lime juice, and pineapple juice. Oh, and it was delish.

On our way home, we picked up some bar-stocking bottles at the duty free. Since then, we have, somewhat uncharacteristically, set to work at finding delicious ways to serve ‘em up.

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In my attempt to avoid tooooo much artificial soda, I set my sights on crafting up some mixers from scratch.

Enter: homemade ginger ale.

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Simple, tasty, and fresh.

Made with a whack of fresh ginger root, one lemon’s jacket, sugar, and some dazzling soda water.

Delish on its own.

(…or when combined with whisky.)

Be warned, though, that my imagination has now been sparked. More combinations are, inevitably, on their way.

ginger ale 300x275 Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale

Adapted from About.com 

Ingredients
1 cup fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
Lemon rind from one lemon, in large strips (yellow part only)
3/4 cup sugar
Chilled club soda
Ice cubes

Directions
1. Place ginger, lemon peel, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
2. Add sugar, stirring occasionally, and continue to boil until reduced to about 1.5 cups, another 15 minutes.
3. Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in ginger mixture to separate solids from liquid. Discard the lemon peel. The strained cooked ginger pieces may be reserved for other uses such as a topping for vanilla ice cream or yogurt (but you may want to cut off the peel), if desired.
4. Cool the syrup, pour into a glass container, seal tightly, and chill at least 1 hour until cold or up to 1 week.
5. Mix 1/4 cup ginger syrup with 1 cup cold club soda and pour over ice. Additional ginger syrup and/or sugar may be added to taste.

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On another note, things that I learned during the ginger ale photoshoot:
1. your water-stained glass will not magically appear clean under the close scrutiny of the camera lens.
2. don’t try to photograph your cute, water-stained, glass of homemade ginger ale in torrential winds and blinding sunlight.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, this would work marvelously with my Ginger-Spice Syrup (if you’re looking for an even spicier, warmer, end product).