Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer?
It has been brought to my attention that there is a difference between Ginger Ale & Ginger Beer (besides the name of course). I had no idea.
As usual when a situation like the presents itself, I have to go off and investigate. Here is what I found...
Ginger Ale - As Wiki states, Ginger Ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger (that I already knew). Ginger Ale was the most popular beverage between 1960 - 1930.
Ginger ales come in two varieties; "golden" and "dry". Golden ginger ale is dark colored, generally sweet to taste, with a strong ginger spice flavor. It is the older style and there is little or no difference between this and nonalcoholic versions of ginger beer. Many believe golden ginger ale is a form of ginger beer brought into North America by migrants from Eastern Europe.
Dry ginger ale (paler, and with much less of the ginger "kick") became popular in the United States during Prohibition, when it was used as a mixer for alcoholic beverages, as the strong flavor of golden ginger ale was undesirable. Dry ginger ale became much more popular than golden ginger ale. Today, golden ginger ale is an uncommon, and usually regional, drink. By contrast, dry ginger ale is produced on a vast scale for national and international consumers.
Commercial ginger beer is similar to ginger ale except that it has a significantly stronger ginger taste and is sometimes described as ginger ale with a kick. It may be cloudy, is sweet, and has a spicy ginger taste. Cloudy versions tend to still have small pieces of ginger in them, which usually means a much heavier ginger taste than the clearer types.
The ginger beer soft drink may be mixed with beer (usually a British ale of some sort) to make one type of shandy, and with dark rum to make a drink, originally from Bermuda, called the Dark 'N' Stormy. Ginger Beer is the main ingredient in the Moscow Mule cocktail.
Ginger being a natural plant is said to have medicinal properties and has given rise to the use of ginger ale or ginger beer being used to sooth upset stomachs, ease nausea and sea-sickness.
In any case, its an interesting tasting soft drink with that distinct ginger flavor. Currently Blooms carries 8 different ginger ales/beers:
- AJ Stephans Ginger Beer
- Blenheim Red Hot Ginger Ale
- Boylans Ginger Ale
- Cock N Bull Ginger Beer
- Empire Bottling Ginger Ale
- Bundaberg Australian Ginger Beer
- Sprecher Ginger Ale
- Vernors Ginger Ale