Mixologist Todd Thrasher prefers to carbonate all of the ginger ale mixture; otherwise, it has a tendency to ferment fairly quickly in the refrigerator.
Make Ahead: The uncarbonated mixture may be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Yield: Makes about 3 quarts (or three 1-liter bottles)
- 4 quarts water
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 pounds ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 serrano chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 2 stalks lemon grass (tough outer layers removed), finely chopped
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, whisking until it is dissolved, then add the ginger, serrano chili peppers and lemon grass; stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the mixture is barely bubbling at the edges. Cover and cook for 2 or 3 hours or until the ginger has become translucent and the mixture has a definite spicy kick. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; reduce to about 3 quarts.
When the mixture is off the heat but still hot, use an immersion blender to puree it, then pass it through a fine-mesh strainer into a separate container, discarding the solids. To get the mixture very clear, line the strainer with a clean linen napkin (or several layers of cheesecloth), then strain the mixture again. Let cool to room temperature, and taste. For a less spicy mixture, dilute with water.
To carbonate, use a soda siphon and follow the manufacturer's directions. Refrigerate in bottles with tight-fitting caps until ready to use.
From Todd Thrasher, mixologist at PX Lounge and Restaurant Eve in Alexandria.
Tested by Todd Thrasher.
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