I’m a big fan of ginger in savory dishes, but only recently have I been turned on to the sweet side of the spicy root. Store bought crystallized ginger is tasty but can be a fairly expensive ingredient for baked goods because its sold in small quantities.
My friend Jenny also spoiled me with Red Rock Ginger Ale and I’ve been mildly obsessed with how hot-but-cream-soda-y it is. At $5 for a 4-pack it’s not cheap either and well, I am.
Always looking for ways to make things myself, I grabbed a $2 hunk of ginger at the Farmer’s Market and began my research. Obviously the first step to ginger anything is peeling it and my mom (who taught me most everything I know about cooking) showed me a neat trick.
Since it’s easier to show than explain, I made my very first YouTube video just for y’all:
Now that we’ve got our ginger peeled, it’s show time. This recipe is a 2-fer because you end up with chewy spicy candied ginger and a wonderful ginger infused simple syrup – the starting point for ginger ale!
Candied Ginger & Ginger Simple Syrup
(makes 2 c. of crystallized ginger and 1.5 c syrup)
- 1 lb of fresh ginger root
- 2.5 c. of water
- 2 ¼ c. of granulated sugar, divided
Carefully peel and chop ginger root into small ¼ in. cubes. Heat the water and 2 cups of sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the ginger root and continue boiling for 1-1.5 hours. Keep a close eye on it near the end to prevent burning the sugar or boil over.
Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle it with the remaining ¼ c. of sugar.
Be super careful & pour the hot syrup/ginger through a metal sieve into a glass bowl (note: this WILL melt plastic). Reserve the syrup and let it cool for the ginger ale.
Working quickly, dump the solid ginger onto the sugared sheet and toss it in the sugar with a heat-safe spatula. Add more sugar if needed to keep the ginger pieces from sticking together. Cool to room temp and it’s ready to use!
(makes 1 glass)
- 8 oz. seltzer water
- 4 tbsp. ginger simple syrup
- 1 lime wedge (optional)
Mix, pour over ice. Enjoy!
I have big plans for all that candied ginger so stay tuned for some baked goods featuring the ingredient!