Homemade Ginger Ale

Nothing hits the spot on a sultry Southern afternoon like homemade ginger ale. The flavored sugar syrup can be made up to 10 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. You also can use it to flavor all kinds of drinks, from lemonade to iced tea to mint juleps.
Homemade Ginger Ale

3 cups sliced (1/4 inch) unpeeled fresh ginger (about 3/4 lb.)
3 cups sugar
9 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 coarse sugar
12 cups club soda, chilled
16 lime slices

1. Process ginger in food processor until coarsely chopped. Place in large saucepan.

2. Add sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; simmer until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Increased temperature to medium high; Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 30 to 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about one-third. Remove from heat; cool.

3. Strain syrup into large pitcher (you will have about 5 to 6 cups ginger syrup). Discard ginger. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to use.

4. For each ginger ale, dip rim of 12-oz. tumbler in lime juice, then in coarse sugar. Add ice cubes and 1/3 cup ginger syrup. Top with 3/4 cup club soda. Garnish with lime slices.

About 16 servings

PER SERVING: 185 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), .5 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

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