Ginger ale vs ginger beer?
Traditional ginger beer was produced by naturally fermenting ginger spice, yeast and sugar. The origins of ginger beer date back to the colonial spice trade with Asia and the Caribbean.
Brewed Ginger Beer (also known as alcoholic ginger beer) originated in Yorkshire, England, during the mid-18th Century and became popular throughout the UK and then further afield. By the 20th Century it was popular throughout the UK, the US, South Africa and Canada.
These days, some ginger beer soft drink is manufactured rather than brewed, often with artificial carbonation and ginger flavouring. Authentic ginger beer, such as Hot Ginger by StrangeLove is made with a homemade recipe and contains only natural ingredients.
Ginger Ale is a ginger-flavoured, carbonated drink. It tends to have a milder flavour than ginger beer, but more carbonation. Ginger Ale is thought to have originated in Ireland, but it first became mainstream in Canada where the Canada Dry style ginger ale was invented.
The health benefits of ginger
As well as being a popular spice, ginger root can also be used as a wellness remedy. Ginger is rich in antioxidants, which can stabilise free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Ginger is also thought to reduce inflammation, in fact, a 2001 study found that patients with osteoarthritis who took ginger extract twice a day for six weeks had reduced knee pain caused by inflammation.
On top of this, Ginger is often used to calm nausea (particularly in pregnancy) and can also be used to settle menstrual cramps.
The best Ginger Beers and Ginger Ales
There are lots of different types of ginger beer and ginger ale on the market. In fact, if you look at the soft drink aisle in the supermarket you’ll find an array of different brands. However, I only stock StrangeLove ginger beer and ginger ale. That’s because, unlike sugar laden brands you’ll find at the supermarket, StrangeLove is made from natural ingredients.
The product: Crafted with aromatic ginger extract, burnt sugar and applewood-smoked water, this ginger ale features notes of pimento, allspice and juniper. StrangeLove Dry Ginger Ale has a complex flavour profile that is perfect on its own or as a mixer.
What customers are saying: “Great as a mixer or just on its own.”
The Product: Based on a homemade recipe, StrangeLove Hot Ginger Beer is crafted with fiery Australian ginger root and spicy Sichuan pepper. It features a warm, dry finish and works really well with alcohol-free spirits because the heat packs a bit of punch.
What customers are saying: “LOVE this drink, just wish it came in a larger bottle! Great flavour, effervescent without too much fizzy, and you can taste the ginger!”
StrangeLove Low Cal Double Ginger Beer
The product: Made with both Australian grown ginger with aromatic Fijian ginger extract, this low calorie ginger beer is just 18.3 calories per 100mls and free from artificial sweetener.
What customers are saying: “five stars - great taste.”
Classic ginger drinks that work every time
There are some mixed drinks that just work! Here are my top four ginger based drinks.
Known as the ‘Dark & Stormy’ this classic mixed drink is an Australian favourite.
Try this: StrangeLove Dark & Stormy Rum Mocktail
Non-alcoholic whiskey & ginger ale
An iconic combination, this mixed drink is a great winter warmer.
Non-alcoholic vodka & ginger beer
Vodka and ginger beer, also known as a Moscow Mule is known for having a bit of a kick. Try this: Add some ice to a copper mug or highball glass, add 30mls of Ms Sans Make Me a Sanstini non-alcoholic vodka along with a dash of lime and stir to combine. Top up with Ginger beer and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Non-alcoholic Gin and Ginger Beer
While the Gin and Tonic is the most popular gin drink, a gin and ginger beer actually makes a flavoursome mixed drink that is simple and elegant.
Sources: National Library of medicine/ Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis/ Nov 2001