The flat kind is good for a sour stomach, but freshly made ginger ale is a tasty, mixed-drink-ready treat. Here's how to brew your own.
Actually, you aren't "brewing" anything in the fermentation sense, as this stuff's strictly non-alcoholic (if you're looking for that, it's called ginger beer, and it's fantastic). The Amateur Gourmet blog uses a recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef that needs just a few ingredients from the store (one pound of ginger, two stalks of lemongrass, two small chiles, and the last two are kind of optional) along with some soda water and sugar. Boil up the flavor elements, let it cool, then mix it with the soda water in whatever proportions you'd like.
The full recipe and illustrated step-by-step instructions are available at the Amateur Gourmet post. Keep it in mind for your next gathering, or for the next time you've got vodka and limes waiting to be used (or so we've heard).
Homemade Ginger Ale [The Amateur Gourmet]