Enjoy this refreshing Orange Honey Ginger Ale while sitting on the patio, cooling yourself with a fan and admiring the brightly colored flowers of summer. This recipe is excerpted from Homemade Soda (Storey Publishing, 2011) by Andrew Schloss, a comprehensive guide filled with recipes such as Curiosity Cola and Anise Licorice Root Beer.
Orange Honey Ginger Ale Recipe
Before refrigeration, ginger was commonly added to beer to counteract off flavors that could develop when the fermentation process went awry. The practice has waned, but the appreciation for ginger-flavored beverages has not. Ginger is a unique aromatic ingredient, one of the few that burns and cools simultaneously. With its pronounced floral character, it has an affinity for both honey and orange. Select a mild honey, such as orange blossom, for this soda. If the honey is too bold it will fight with the ginger and overpower the orange flavor. This soda may take slightly longer than usual to ferment due to the acidity of the orange juice.
Orange Honey Ginger Syrup Recipe
Enough for 1 gallon brewed ginger ale
• 1 quart water
• 2 1/4 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup mild honey, such as orange blossom honey
• 3 ounces fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup)
• Juice of 1 orange
1. Combine the water, sugar, honey, ginger, and orange juice in a large saucepan, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, then let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool for 30 minutes, and strain out the solids.
2. This syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
TO MIX WITH SELTZER
• 1/3 cup orange honey ginger syrup
• 2 tablespoons orange juice
• 1 1/2 cups seltzer
1. Pour the syrup and juice into a tall glass. Add the seltzer and stir just until blended. Add ice and serve.
TO CARBONATE WITH A SIPHON
• 3 cups water
• 2/3 cup orange honey ginger syrup
• 1/3 cup orange juice
1. Combine the water, syrup, and juice in a 1-quart soda siphon. Charge with CO2 according to the manufacturer’s directions. Siphon-charged sodas can be stored in the siphon in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Disperse as desired into tall glasses filled with ice, and serve.
• 2 quarts lukewarm (80 to 90 degrees) water
• 1 batch orange honey ginger syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon champagne yeast (Saccharomyces bayanus)
• 1 quart orange juice
1. Combine the water and syrup in a large container. Test the temperature; the mixture should be at a warm room temperature, from 75 to 80 degrees. (If it is too hot, let it sit until it cools a bit. If it is too cold, warm it over low heat.) Add the yeast and stir until it is completely dissolved. Stir in the orange juice.
2. Pour the mixture into sanitized plastic bottles using a sanitized kitchen funnel, leaving 1 1/4 inches of air space at the top of each bottle. Seal the bottles. Store for 4 to 6 days at room temperature. When the bottles feel rock hard, the soda is fully carbonated. Refrigerate for at least 1 week before serving; drink within 3 weeks to avoid overcarbonation.
Mixology: Ginger Honey Rummy
1. Prepare the orange honey ginger syrup, then carbonate as desired.
2. Pour 2 ounces (1/4 cup) golden rum over ice in a tall glass. Add 6 ounces (3/4 cup) Orange Honey Ginger Ale and stir briefly. Garnish with an orange slice.
Excerpted from Homemade Soda © Andrew Schloss, photography © Aran Goyoaga used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Click here for the main article, Homemade Soda: Carbonation Methods, Flavorings and Recipes.