Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ginger Ale

This is a delicious and refreshing drink with a spicy-warm flavor. I adapted the recipe from Nourishing Traditions and like the results very much! It's not too sweet and quite gingery.

You will need plenty of fresh ginger root (about the equivalent of 6 inches), one lime, Celtic sea salt, whey, and evaporated cane sugar juice (Succanat and Rapadura are two kinds - this is basically a type of healthier, unrefined form of sugar). You will also need one glass quart jar or bottle with a screw-on lid and, a little later, some high-quality sparkling water and a second quart-size jar.

Combine the following in a quart-size jar:
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 6 tbsp. Succanat (dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water)
  • 1/4 tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. whey
  • enough water to fill the rest of the jar
Stir all ingredients well and cover tightly. Leave at room temperature for three days, then strain the liquid through a small mesh strainer (such as a tea strainer or cheesecloth), and mix with one quart of your favorite sparkling water. Refrigerate in two glass quart-size jars or bottles and enjoy in small amounts as a "pick-me-up" after being in the sun, or with meals. This is great for reviving your electrolyte balance; it is also a lacto-fermented beverage and very good for your digestive system! Plus it's yummy and a satisfying substitute for so-called sports drinks, lemonade, and soda. Sally Fallon writes in Nourishing Traditions that lacto-fermented beverages "give a lift to the tired body by supplying mineral ions depleted through perspiration and contribute to easy and thorough assimilation of our food by supplying lactobacilli, lactic-acid, and enzymes." (page 584)

*Note: there will be some cloudy sediment in the ginger ale; just allow it to settle to the bottom of the jar and pour carefully to get only the clear liquid. Or you can shake it up and let it be cloudy if you aren't too finicky. Enjoy!


  1. Last month i had some fermented grape juice at your house. That was delicious, could you write a bit about that? And how to make it?

  2. Actually I buy our fermented grape juice from Abner Lapp through the Traditional Nutrition Guild. He delivers monthly at the Natural Gourmet Cooking school, and in Larchmont every two weeks. He is the only person I know right now who makes it and sells it. Of course, you could make it yourself and I even have the recipe which I can share if you like. But it requires a LOT of grapes and they must be organic or grown without chemicals so they will ferment properly. I have never tried the recipe, but really should do that...

  3. I'm going to try this! Where do I get the whey?

  4. can I use sauerkraut or pickle juice instead of whey? I have issues with dairy...

  5. i am living in nicaragua and can't get succanat. can i use brown sugar as an alternative?