Have you ever had fresh ginger before? For those of you who have, you know that it has a “spiciness” to it that is hard to explain. Depending on your tolerance for it, this spiciness can range from pleasant to unbearable. A year or two ago I took a trip to Montreal, Canada, and on the way up I was given some ginger candies. These were basically dried ginger pieces rolled in sugar, but not what you might think of when I say “candy.”

They were so spicy! I ate a few because they tasted great, but I had no tolerance for the heat whatsoever. Depending on your personal preference for the heat of ginger, you can make this drink to suit your tastes as it combines a ginger syrup with carbonated water; the ginger syrup is a standard recipe, but you can adjust the amount of sparkling water to dilute the heat.

For mine, I filled a glass with ice and then poured in enough ginger syrup to fill a quarter to a third of the glass.

Top it off with sparkling water and be sure to stir it! You really need the water to dilute the syrup, otherwise you might be put off by how strong the syrup is!

This is a nonalcoholic beverage, but you could use this ginger syrup in a number of cocktails. The heat of the ginger that I keep talking about is different than the heat from your choice of liquor, which makes for an interesting sensation.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Homemade Ginger Ale

The fresh ginger in this recipe can be quite spicy. If you prefer a tamer drink, dilute with more carbonated water when pouring the drink.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ice as needed
  • carbonated water as needed


  1. In a pot, combine the water, sugar, and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour, or until reduced by half.
  2. Strain the liquid to remove the ginger and chill until cold. Add lemon juice.
  3. Fill a cup with ice and pour enough syrup to fill the glass by one quarter. Add carbonated water to fill and stir well.