When we were little, my brother and I were only allowed to drink soda to settle our stomachs when we were sick. Godless child that I was, my first prayer, circa age 4, went like this (direct quote, overheard by my mother): “Dear God, please let me throw up thirteen times in the night so I can drink Coke.”

Nowadays, having recovered from my childhood deprivation of soda (and white bread, fruit roll-ups, processed peanut butter and cereal with more than 8 grams of sugar) I’ve returned to my roots and only drink soda to settle an upset tummy. Though my mom claims that carbonation helps soothe a stomachache, it’s my opinion that sodas that do not contain real ginger are pretty useless in the tummy-settling department. This afternoon, feeling a little yucky and not up for a natural soda hunt, I decided to experiment with what I already had in my kitchen.

I always keep a little fresh ginger around; it’s great for Asian-inspired dishes (like Vegetable Fried Bulgar,) Creamsicle juice, and baking projects, among other things. To make this soda, I simply grated a one-inch piece of ginger (use a little less if you want a weaker flavor) into a glass and added a 500ml-bottle of sparkling mineral water. The orange slice I used as a garnish got me thinkin’, so I added the juice of one half of the orange for a nice vitamin C boost! You don’t have to consume all the ginger for it to have a soothing effect; the infusion will help on its own.

As a warm alternative to this fresh, cooling drink, try simmering a one-inch piece of ginger in 1 cup water for about five minutes, then drink as a tea.