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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale

Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale

This is one recipe that I couldn’t wait to share with you! I found it on a CNN’s website (I know, such an unlikely source!) The chef that created this it is someone that I’m sure you all know….Jean-Georges Vongerichten. If you are having a outdoor summer party – this is a drink that will have your friends praising you to infinity and beyond. The original version has no alcohol, but you can add a big splash of gin like I did.

Ginger does have the word “Gin” in it, so duh! If the photo looks a little crooked, its because I had to do the photo shoot twice.

Both with gin. (hiccup!)

You rock my world, J-Vo.

Lemongrass Ginger Ale

from CNN’s Food Central


Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale

Servings: 1 quart, about 10 glasses Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.52.23 PM

The original recipe includes chilli and is non-alcoholic. Its hot out and didn't feel like more heat, so I left out the chilli. I also added a splash of gin to each glass. Gin has an herbally, citrusy quality that goes really well with lemongrass and ginger.


1.5 pounds fresh ginger, cut into thin strips (don’t bother peeling)
3 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and bottom 6” roughly chopped into 1/2" sections
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 quarts water
soda water
gin (optional)
lime wedges


1.Throw the ginger and lemongrass into a food processor and process until it becomes a consistency of a thick puree. You’ll have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides a couple of times.

2.In a saucepan over high heat,, add 1 1/4 quarts of water, lemongrass/ginger and the sugar. Boil and immediately turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Strain with a couple layers of cheesecloth. Chill in fridge as long as you can wait.

3.To serve, fill a tall glass with ice. Add a ¼ cup of syrup in the glass. Top with soda water and or gin. A quick squeeze of lime, sip and pretend you’re on vacation.

32 Responses to “Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale”

  1. I make a similar lemongrass ginger drink with mint, but I’ll have to try this one with chiles. I love the complexity of flavors in this one and the refreshing zing of the ginger! Lovely!

  2. tigerfish — 7/2/07 @ 1:07 am

    I love Thai lemongrass iced tea, so I know this drink is gonna be so refreshing. I may try it, without the gin though. Hmmm…so cooling.

  3. mrshbt — 7/2/07 @ 3:07 am

    Perfect drink for my blogger Malaysian friend Lyrical Lemongrass!

    Eat First Think Later also posted Lemongrass drink on her blog a couple of weeks ago.

    What kind of small chilies did you use? You mentioned that you remove the stem of the chilies. Did you also remove the seeds?

    Love your glass and orchid. I think you placed an orchid over the lemongrass, right? That’s brilliant. I learned another trick to garnish my cocktails.

  4. Aah! A drink after my own heart. :-P I shall definitely try this drink out at my next party. :-)

  5. SteamyKitchen — 7/2/07 @ 9:42 am

    Susan-i’ll have to try it with mint next…such a natural herb to go with lemongrass.

    Tigerfish- its 90 degrees outside today with a humidity of 10,000%…

    Mrshbt- I didn’t use chillis in this drink – but if I did, I would remove the seeds and the membrane – any chiles would work fine, but I stick with an asian chilli.
    I used a slice of ginger, cut a slit and propped that on the glass. Then I took an orchid and stuck the stem between the ginger and the glass to hold it up. It worked beautifully. I also have a lemongrass leaf for garnish.

  6. Jackson Kah — 7/2/07 @ 10:33 am

    Wow… must b a refreshing drinks in the hot summer! I never think of adding ginger in lemongrass water.. thx for the tips!

  7. ilva — 7/2/07 @ 10:44 am

    This sounds perfect for me, what a pity I cannot find lemon grass where I live…

  8. Big Boys Oven — 7/2/07 @ 11:51 am

    Looks so beautiful and yet so refreshing.

  9. Melinda — 7/2/07 @ 1:06 pm

    I am very thirsty right…can you send one over. It looks like just what I need after walking 5 miles! The orchid is beaut decorating the drink.

  10. oooh…I’m going to try it when we have sunny weather here. At the moment, it has been rainy for days. :(

  11. Lynn — 7/2/07 @ 2:42 pm

    Ooh, I love the lemongrass in that, but I’m unsure about the chilies. I posted about making carbonated gingerale a while back. It was so much fun!

  12. V — 7/2/07 @ 3:10 pm

    Sounds so refreshing for a summer day, and I can’t wait to try it! :)

  13. What a unique (and beautiful) drink! I never would have expected a recipe like that to turn up on CNN. :-o

  14. steeped — 7/2/07 @ 9:28 pm

    Oh, YUM. I’m bookmarking this to try as soon as I defrost my freezer so I can actually *make* ice to go with it!

  15. Cynthia — 7/2/07 @ 10:45 pm

    Thanks Jaden. As soon as I can put my hands on some lemon grass (scarce and expensive in these parts), I’ll try making this drink.

  16. mrshbt — 7/2/07 @ 11:42 pm

    Sliced ginger to hold the orchid is brilliant.

    p/s I guess, to make the drink light green in color, perhaps green chilies would work better, seeds and membrane remove of course, as per your suggestion. :)

  17. Stephanie — 7/2/07 @ 11:50 pm

    Captivating! From my office window in Melbourne I can see a blue sky, so damn, I’m just going to follow your suggestion and pretend it’s summer!

  18. Carol — 7/3/07 @ 2:29 am

    Hey Jaden, don’t rub it in! It’s been freezing and raining cats and dogs here, perfect weather for a cocktail party. Can I have your cocktail warm if not hot?? Love the orchids!!

  19. wokandspoon — 7/3/07 @ 4:09 am

    Ooo..a lemon grass drink with chillies! My dream come true! Thx for posting the recipe!

    We’re pretending it’s summer here in Germany as well. Summer has definitely gone AWOL this year!

  20. Karen — 7/3/07 @ 10:22 am

    That looks sooo refreshing. I might have to concoct one later…

    A few years ago, I made fresh ginger ale using one of J-Vo’s recipes. Awesome!

  21. Marvin — 7/3/07 @ 11:09 am

    Hi Jaden, what kind of gin did you use? I’ve recently discovered Junipero gin (made by the same people that make Anchor Steam beer, one of my faves) and it’s especially herbally and floral. I’m gonna have to try your recipe. I’m a sucker for anything with gin.

  22. SteamyKitchen — 7/3/07 @ 1:29 pm

    Marvin- I used Bombay Sapphire….i’ll have to look for Junipero Gin. I have heard of it before but have never tried it

  23. Rasa Malaysia — 7/3/07 @ 1:49 pm

    Maybe this is the secret to get over my jet-lag?

  24. blondee47 — 7/3/07 @ 3:09 pm

    Jaden, where can I vote for ur site to be the best blog!!@

    I love your ideas and recipies and everyone can make them…i just love your blog

  25. blondee47 — 7/3/07 @ 3:17 pm

    oops forgot to ask this: it is hard to find fresh lemongrass where i live, is it ok to use lemongrass that is bottled in water by Blue Dragon?

  26. SteamyKitchen — 7/3/07 @ 5:12 pm

    Blondee- hmmmm….I’ve never used it from a bottle but I’m sure it would work. Add some lemon zest to the syrup to boil to give it more flavor. And thank you for the compliments!

  27. Pingback: Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale « Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen

  28. cindy — 7/11/07 @ 12:41 am

    i thought you were leaving bloglandia! glad you’re not! (i’ve been working a lot, and been away from the blogs!) this looks wonderful, especially on a day like today…so refreshing!

  29. Lydia — 7/18/07 @ 12:37 pm

    Oh, goodie — I have lemongrass in my herb garden this year! Will be wonderful to make this recipe when the plants are a bit taller.

  30. Cindy — 8/20/07 @ 11:54 pm

    My god this picture looks amazing!

  31. laura — 10/17/07 @ 5:23 pm

    in actuality, the chilli in the original recipe is a smart idea, because it would make your body cooler. just a science factoid.

  32. moregon — 9/3/10 @ 12:37 am

    deliciouso, pero too sweet! maybe half the sugar for a more spicy, less sweet outcome?

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