Cranberry ginger ale is a winter tradition in Canada. It is a warming combination of spicy, sour, and sweet, that is bright red and delicious.
The commercial version comes in 2 L plastic pop bottles and is more sweet than spicy. In contrast, homemade cranberry ginger ale is made with the ginger bug for a flavorful and probiotic drink.
A full flavoured ginger ale
The best part about making your own ginger ale is that you can flavor it to suit your personal taste. Use a mix of cranberry and apple juice for a refined sugar-free and tart beverage. Mix it with sparkling water for a mild and bright drink.
Here are a few different fruits and spices that can be added to your cranberry ginger ale. So you can create your own unique blend.
- For spicy ginger ale, add 2 Tbsp of freshly grated ginger. This will float as it ferments, so be sure to strain before bottling.
- Use mulling spices to give the flavor of a mulled cranberry cider. Add 1 stick cinnamon, 3 whole cloves, and 3 allspice berries per batch. Or add1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1/8 tsp each of ground nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
- Orange or lemon zest is my favorite flavor addition. Adding 1 Tbsp of zest gives ginger ale a fresh dimension.
- If cranberry isn’t your thing, here are other juicy ginger ale options.
Ginger ale brewed with the ginger bug is not alcoholic. The probiotic yeasts and bacteria are not meant to brew an alcoholic beverage.
However, cranberry ginger ale is delicious for mixing winter holiday cocktails! Here are a few options:
- Use ginger ale as a highball mix. It’s delicious with vodka, whisky or rum.
- Make a Prosecco cocktail.
- Or a merry berry punch.
Homemade Cranberry Ginger Ale
Homemade cranberry ginger ale is a sour, sweet, sparkling and spicy drink. Made with the ginger bug, it is a delicious and probiotic holiday tradition.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Canadian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 cups of water (chlorine-free)
- 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
- 6 Tbsp sugar (see notes for a sugar-free option)
- 1/4 cup ginger bug starter
- Spices, fruit, and other flavor additions (see section above for suggestions)
- Mix the water, juice, and sugar in a 1-quart (1 L) mason jar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the ginger bug, and any additional flavors.
- Cover the jar with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring. Place the jar somewhere warm and allow it to ferment for 3 to 5 days. Give it a good stir each day.
- Once it is bubbling, strain the liquid into a bottle. Allow it to ferment for a further 3 to 5 days to build up the carbonation. Taste a little bit, and add more sugar if needed. Most of the initial sugar will have been used up by the ginger bug, so it may be quite tart.
- Once the cranberry ginger ale is fizzy, store it in the refrigerator and enjoy! Ginger bug sodas are best if consumed within four weeks of bottling.
- To make brewed ginger ale, you need to catch a ginger bug starter. It usually only takes 5 to 7 days as ginger (particularly organic ginger) naturally ferments.
- For a refined sugar-free option, use apple juice instead of water. It will provide enough natural sugars to feed the ginger bug. You may want to add 1 Tbsp of white sugar right before bottling to help with the carbonation.
- Bottled ginger ale will continue to ferment and build up carbonation, even in the fridge. Use plastic pop bottles or swing-top bottles that are designed to handle carbonation.
Keywords: probiotic, ginger ale, ginger beer, thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, sugar-free, holiday, gluten free, vegan