Ginger Water Recipe - Old-Fashioned Recipe from Ma Ingalls - Melissa K. Norris

Ginger Water Recipe – Old-Fashioned Recipe from Ma Ingalls

By Heather Harris | DIY Recipes & Tutorials

Jul 10

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Regardless, I only link to products we use on our homestead or believe in.

This ginger water recipe dates back to the pioneer days. While ginger water seems to be trending now in the health/diet world it’s an old-fashioned drink.

After a hot summer’s day, when all you can think about is grabbing a cold glass of water to quench your thirst, you may want to reconsider. Grab this tasty ginger water instead.

Back in the pioneer days, working all day in the fields was a must. If you wanted to eat, you were out in the fields, planting, weeding, harvesting. Quenching a deep thirst needed to happen to avoid dehydration.

However, did you know that when you are hot and on the brink of dehydration, that plain water may not be the best for you? For some, it can make your stomach very upset. That’s why Laura’s Ma made a special drink for them to sip on when they were out in the fields. What Ma made was a sweetened ginger water to help quench thirst.

When to drink ginger water

Ginger is naturally warming in the body. It can help your body assimilate the temperature of cool water when you are very hot. In the pioneer days, what they had was most likely a dried, ground version that was traded for. We are going to use a ginger root, that is available at nearly any grocery store.

Ginger is also known to help aid stomach ailments, including nausea and vomiting, pain and inflammation, has antibacterial properties and helps support the immune system. [1]

However, if you have a blood clotting disorder or are on blood clotting medications, you should NOT use ginger.

You will want to peel your ginger before adding it to the water. To do this, slide the back of a spoon down the root gently until the peel is removed. Store unused, peeled ginger in the freezer for later use.

Does ginger water really need brown sugar?

This would add flavor to the water. Also, back in the pioneer days, brown sugar wasn’t what we have now. There was most likely far more minerals that you would need after a hard day of sweating in the sun.

If you would rather not use the brown sugar, you can add molasses or even honey to replace it.  For a keto/low carb version, you can also substitute brown sugar swerve.

The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of brown sugar, but I found that it was just as tasty with only 1/2 cup. This recipe was adapted from The Little House Cookbook

Why use Apple Cider Vinegar?

Cider vinegar contains a good amount of pectin, which can settle a stomach. The combination of sweet and sour, plus the ginger would help to ease stomach upset when drinking water fast. Apple cider vinegar also has the potassium that your body will need after a long day in the sun.

Ma most likely made her own apple cider vinegar, and you can do that as well by following the directions here. 

Health Concerns with Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s important to note that too much apple cider vinegar can cause a reduction in potassium levels and in bone density but the small amount used in this ginger water recipe isn’t a large concentration.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this is not providing any kind of diagnosis or treatment. This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only.

5 Health Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar

With apple cider vinegar, a little bit goes a long ways. It’s best thought to start with 1 to 2 teaspoons and always diluted with water or liquid if drinking it, some people work up to 1 to 2 Tablespoons, but it’s not recommended to go over this amount.

  1. Apple cider vinegar with diabetes and blood sugar, showing to help improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. In this study, people drank 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water 2 minutes before eating a high carbohydrate meal. They then tested their blood sugar levels at different intervals and showed overall improvement. *Source/study data
    owever, before adding in any changes to your regular diet/protocol, if you have any health conditions check with your doctor and pharmacist first.
  2. Apple cider vinegar with blood pressure. Keep in mind, this study was done on rats, not on humans, but there was some promise. It showed that the rats blood pressure and renin activity were reduced. *Source/study data
  3. Apple cider vinegar with cholesterol. Again, this study was conducted on rats and not on people, but it does show promise in helping aid the body to maintain a healthier cholesterol level. The study showed some levels of cholesterol were lowered, but not all. *Source/study data
  4. Apple cider vinegar for weight loss. This was pretty minimal in overall weight loss, but in a study done in Japan with 175 people those who used apple cider vinegar lost 1 to 2 more pounds over 3 months.  *Source/study data
  5.  Indigestion or stomach acid. If you have stomach acid issues, sometimes its caused by an imbalance of the ph levels in your stomach. Some people swear by drinking a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water helps with indigestion or stomach acid issues. Again, consult with your doctor if you have health issues or concerns.

Read the rest of the 28 ways to use apple cider vinegar here

Are you ready for a light and refreshing drink? Let’s get how to make ginger water

Ginger Water Recipe – Old-Fashioned Recipe from Ma Ingalls


1/23/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon powdered ginger (or you can use 2 Tablespoons fresh grated or sliced ginger)

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 gallon jar or jug


Dissolve brown sugar in cider vinegar.

Add ginger and stir.

Pour into 1/2 gallon jar or jug and fill with cool water.

Store in the fridge, makes 6 servings.

Ginger Water

Author: Heather Harris
Print Recipe


  • 1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger or you can use 2 Tablespoons fresh grated or sliced ginger
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 gallon jar or jug


  • Dissolve brown sugar in cider vinegar.
  • Add ginger and stir.
  • Pour into 1/2 gallon jar or jug and fill with cool water.
  • Store in the fridge, makes 6 servings.

Want to learn more about using and growing superfoods at home like ginger? Make sure and register for the upcoming FREE Home Gardening SuperFood Summit

There you have it, our old-fashioned ginger water recipe! Have you made it or ever heard of it?

[1] Source on Ginger Health and Risk Benefits

About the Author

With over 20 years experience in the kitchen, Heather loves to create delicious, nutritious foods that her family will enjoy! Follow her adventures on and see what's cooking!

(5) comments

Add Your Reply