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Home| Homemade Ginger Ale Float With Lemongrass Ice Cream and Ginger Candy
Homemade Ginger Ale Float With Lemongrass Ice Cream and Ginger Candy
Homemade Ginger Ale Float With Lemongrass Ice Cream and Ginger CandyHomemade Ginger Ale Float With Lemongrass Ice Cream and Ginger Candy

This float is a spectacular dessert, fragrant and cooling. And to gild the lily, there's a chewy ginger candy accompaniment.

As a kid, I'd visit soda fountains and see the countermen concocting drinks from flavored syrups and carbonated water. Years later I learned to prepare sugar syrups for desserts. Put these memories together, add the recollection of my mom making ginger tea (great for upset stomachs and sore throats), and you now know how this dessert came into being.

The ginger ale and candy are, of course, delicious on their own.


2 cups fresh ginger cut into 1/8-inch slices (about 2 large "hands")
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 quart club soda, well chilled
*Lemongrass Ice Cream (recipe below)
1 Lime, quartered
4 mint sprigs



1. To make the syrup, combine the ginger, 2 cups of the sugar, and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until syrupy or reduced by half, 40 to 45 minutes. The syrup will thicken as it cools so don’t over-reduce it. Strain the syrup and reserve the ginger.

2. Preheat the oven to 225 F. To make the candy, place the remaining 2 cups sugar in a large bowl, add the ginger, and toss to coat on all sides. Place the ginger on a baking sheet and bake until dried but still chewy, about 3 hours.

3. To make the floats, fill four 8 ounce glasses with the club soda. Pour 2 tablespoons of the ginger syrup down the side of each glass (4 if you prefer a sweeter float). Squeeze a lime wedge into each drink, add a scoop of the ice cream, and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with the candy.

Lemongrass Ice Cream


    3 cups milk
    8 lemongrass stalks, white parts only, sliced ¼ inch thick
    1 vanilla bean, preferably Tahitian, split lengthwise and scraped
    ¾ cup egg yolks (5 to 6 large eggs)
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    2 cups heavy cream

     1)      In a non reactive medium saucepan, combine  
           the milk, lemongrass, and vanilla bean and heat  
           over medium heat until scalded. Turn the heat
           to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced 
           by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from
           the heat and allow to steep at least 1 hour and
           preferably overnight; the longer it steeps, the 
           more flavor will develop.   Strain the mixture, 
           return the milk to the saucepan,  and bring just to
           the point of boiling. 

2)      Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with cold water and add ice. In a non  reactive medium bowl, combine the yolks and the sugar and whisk to blend. Add a ladleful of the scalded milk mixture to the yolk mixture, mix well, and transfer the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the eggs will scramble. 

3)      Strain the mixture into a medium bowl, and place it in the bowl of ice water to cool. When cool, add the cream, and stir to blend. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturers instructions. Do not over harden, the ice cream should have a soft consistency. Transfer to freezer.  

Variation:    Cardamom Ice Cream. Use 8 crushed cardamom pods or ½ tablespoon toasted ground cardamom in place of the lemongrass. Steep the cardamom in the milk and proceed as above.  

Copyright 2013 Ming Tsai