Ginger Lemonade: A Simple and Refreshing Summertime Drink

We love lemonade during the summertime. Adding ginger makes this drink especially bright, zingy, and refreshing.

Serves: 6-8   Time: 15 minutes    Cookbook: The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook

This delightfully refreshing ginger lemonade recipe comes from the CIA – the Culinary Institute of America. The CIA leads the culinary scene in training some of the best chefs around the world. Graduates include the likes of Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes), Ann Burrell (Food Network), Anthony Bourdain, and the founder and owner of Chipotle. Today’s drink comes from the CIA kitchens, and it’s a good one!

In This Article:

Ginger lemonade is a refreshing, bright summery drink that’s perfect for sipping in the afternoon, on a lazy weekend, or enjoying after you get home from work. There are two variations of this drink, one with and one without sugar, so you can tailor it to your needs. Let’s get to it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Unique: Lemonade is loved the world ’round and this is a fun take on the old traditional recipe.

Refreshing: Thanks to the ginger, this recipe is bright and refreshing – perfect for a hot day.

Guilt-Free: If you use stevia powder, you’ll get to enjoy a guilt-free drink that’s actually very good for you thanks to the goodness of lemon and ginger.

Ingredients Needed to Make the CIA’s Ginger Lemonade

Ginger Lemonade Ingredients
  • Water: You’ll want 6 cups of cold water for this, so chill the water ahead of time.
  • Sugar or Stevia: Sugar and stevia powder both work well in this recipe. If you want a guilt-free drink, go with stevia. If you feel like splurging, by all means, enjoy your sugar.
  • Fresh Ginger: This is the star of the show. The fresh ginger in this recipe is what brings an extra layer of flavor to the lemonade. If you have ginger juice, that also works. Simply add to taste.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed juice from lemons will always be best in a recipe like this, but bottled 100% juice also works pretty well in a pinch.

Equipment You’ll Need In the Kitchen

  • Small Saucepan: Just about any size saucepan is large enough to steep the ginger and make the ginger tea you’ll add to your lemonade base.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: A fine mesh strainer is perfect for straining the ginger out of the ginger water mixture.
  • Pitcher: A pitcher is ideal to combine the lemonade base with the ginger tea to form your ginger lemonade.

How to Make the CIA’s Ginger Lemonade

Ginger Lemonade is served

This refreshing drink takes around 15 minutes to make and you get plenty to enjoy. Have a pitcher of ice ready for your new summertime favorite.

Make the base

Grate the ginger, then add it, the sugar or stevia, and 2/3 cup water to your saucepan. Heat on medium until it boils.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until sugar is dissolved.

Take the pan off the heat and set it aside. Let it steep for 10 minutes so the ginger can infuse the sugar water.

After 10 minutes, strain the mixture into a bowl and discard the ginger.

Make the drink

Ginger Lemonade in a pitcher

Add strained water, lemon juice, and 6 cups of cold water into a pitcher. Stir well to mix.

Serve

When ready to serve, add ice to the pitcher and drinking glasses. Pour and serve with a slice of lemon to garnish.

Pro tip: Looking for more fantastic drinks? Try Leanne Brown’s Agua Fresca!

Ginger Lemonade Variations

Refreshing ginger lemonade in a pitcher

This is a perfect base for other lemonade variations. Here are several variations to try.

Ginger-Lavender: Add 2 Tbsp culinary lavender buds to the sugar water while it steeps.

Ginger-Mint: Crush 10 fresh mint leaves and add them to the sugar water while it steeps.

Ginger-Lemonbalm: Add 2 Tbsp crushed lemon balm leaves to the sugar water as it steeps.

Ginger-Lime: Add 2 Tbsp lime zest to the sugar water while it steeps.

Ginger-Orange: Add 2 Tbsp orange zest to the sugar water while it steeps.

Ginger Lemonade Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

Can I use other sugar substitutes instead of sugar or stevia?

Definitely. Agave syrup, honey, and even maple syrup can be used in the place of sugar. If going this route, we recommend letting the ginger and water steep without the sugar substitute, then adding the sugar substitute to taste when mixing up the lemonade.

Can I use sparkling water instead of plain water?

Yes! Sparkling water will turn your lemonade into a fun, fizzy drink that’s elevated enough for a party or get-together. If using sparkling water, make the recipe as stated, but swap out the six cups of cold water for six cups of sparkling water.

Can I make it ahead?

You certainly can. If making this the day before, be sure to refrigerate it, covered. For extra flavor, add a few slices of lemon or ginger to the pitcher, as well.

Print
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Ginger Lemonade Ready to Drink

Ginger Lemonade: A Simple and Refreshing Summertime Drink


  • Author: Matt
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

This delightfully refreshing drink is sure to bring a smile to everyone you serve it to. Whip it up in 15 minutes or make it ahead. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the bright combination of lemon and ginger.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 2/3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or 1/4 cup Stevia
  • 3/4-inch piece Fresh Ginger
  • 1 cup Lemon Juice
  • Slices of Ginger or Lemon for garnish

Instructions

Make ginger tea

  • Grate the ginger, then add it, the sugar or stevia, and 2/3 cup water to your saucepan. Heat on medium until it boils.
  • Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Take the pan off the heat and set it aside. Let it steep for 10 minutes so the ginger can infuse the sugar water.
  • After 10 minutes, strain the mixture into a bowl and discard the ginger.

Make the lemonade

  • Add strained ginger water, lemon juice, and 6 cups of cold water into a pitcher. Stir well to mix.
  • When ready to serve, add ice to the pitcher and drinking glasses. Pour and serve with a slice of lemon to garnish. 

Notes

The nutritional information is for the recipe with sugar, not stevia. If made with stevia powder, calories are 7 per serving.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Beverages
  • Method: Squeeze
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Culinary Institute of America, Lemonade, Drinks

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