Ginger ale has been a go-to beverage for many for its refreshing taste and potential health benefits. However, not all ginger ale brands are created equal. Many store-bought ginger ales contain little to no actual ginger, leaving consumers to question which brands they can trust. In this blog post, we dive into which ginger ale has real ginger and the benefits of incorporating ginger into your diet.
What Is Ginger Ale?
Ginger ale is a carbonated drink that has been around for centuries. It originated in Ireland and was used as a “cure-all” tonic due to its spicy, medicinal flavor. Today, ginger ale is mostly known for its refreshing taste and ability to help soothe an upset stomach.
Types Of Ginger Ale
There are two main types of ginger ale: golden and dry. Golden ginger ale is made with real ginger, giving it a golden hue and a stronger ginger flavor. Dry ginger ale, on the other hand, contains less actual ginger and has a more subtle flavor.
Benefits Of Drinking Ginger Ale
- May help reduce nausea: Ginger ale can help relieve upset stomach and nausea related to stomach flu, severe migraines, chemotherapy, or morning sickness in pregnancy.
- May offer antioxidant effects: Ginger ale contains natural antioxidants that protect cells from disease-causing damage.
- May help treat migraines: Research suggests that ginger ale, in the form of ginger powder or placed under the tongue, can be as effective as prescription drugs in reducing migraine symptoms.
- May help reduce inflammation: Ginger ale contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects on the brain and joints.
- May support heart health: Ginger ale may assist in lowering high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Naturally caffeine-free: Ginger ale is a great alternative to cola and other caffeinated beverages as it does not contain any caffeine.
Please note that the benefits mentioned above are primarily associated with ginger, the main ingredient in ginger ale.
Why Does Ginger Ale Need Real Ginger?
Many ginger ale brands on the market today use artificial flavorings instead of real ginger. This not only affects the taste but also diminishes the potential health benefits. Real ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which are responsible for its distinctive flavor and potential medicinal properties.
Which Ginger Ale Has Real Ginger?
Reed’s Ginger Ale is known for containing real, fresh ginger.
1. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
This popular brand uses natural flavors and extracts, including real ginger, to give its ginger ale a crisp, refreshing taste. It also offers a diet version made with real ginger and zero calories.
2. Schweppes Ginger Ale
Similar to Canada Dry, Schweppes also uses real ginger in its classic and diet versions of ginger ale. The brand also offers a bold version with extra ginger for those who prefer a stronger flavor.
3. Reed’s Ginger Ale
As mentioned above, Reed’s Ginger Ale stands out as one of the few brands that use real, fresh ginger in their product. They also offer a variety of flavors such as extra ginger and zero sugar options.
4. Seagram’s Ginger Ale
Seagram’s Ginger Ale is another popular brand that uses real ginger in its classic and diet versions. It also offers a variety of flavors, including green tea ginger ale and golden ginger ale.
5. Blue Sky Ginger Ale Soda
Blue Sky is a lesser-known brand that offers an organic version of ginger ale made with real ginger and cane sugar. They also have a zero-calorie option sweetened with stevia.
6. Vernor’s Ginger Ale
Vernor’s Ginger Ale is a classic brand that has been around since 1866. It still uses real ginger in its recipe and has a distinct, spicy flavor.
7. Brooklyn Crafted
Brooklyn Crafted is a newer brand that offers ginger ale made with real, unfiltered ginger. Their recipe also includes lemon juice and organic cane sugar for added taste.
8. Cape Cod Ale
Cape Cod Ale is another craft brand that offers ginger ale made with real ginger and Cape Cod honey. They also donate a portion of their profits to local environmental organizations.
9. Bruce Cost Unfiltered
Bruce Cost Unfiltered is a premium brand that uses only fresh, whole ginger in their ginger ale recipe. Their beverages are unfiltered for a more robust flavor and contain no artificial ingredients.
10. Polar Ginger Ale
Polar Ginger Ale is a brand that prides itself on using natural flavors, including real ginger, in their sodas. Their classic ginger ale has been a fan favorite for over 135 years.
11. Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale is a popular brand that uses a blend of three different types of ginger in their recipe for a unique, spicy flavor. They also use natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners.
Does Ginger Ale Soda Actually Have Any Real Ginger?
Many commercial ginger ales have minimal ginger content and high levels of added sugar. However, certain traditional variations do contain genuine fermented ginger root. Ginger may provide potential advantages for heart health, headaches, and nausea, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger Ale Or Ginger Beer: Which Has More Real Ginger
Ginger beer and ginger ale differ in terms of their ginger content. Ginger beer is made by fermenting fresh ginger and sugar, while ginger ale can be made either by fermenting with whey or by mixing soda water or club soda with artificial or real ginger syrup. When it comes to flavor, ginger beer has a stronger taste, aroma, and spice compared to ginger ale, which often has a more syrupy flavor.
How Good Is Home-Made Ginger Ale?
Making ginger ale at home can be a healthier and more customizable option compared to store-bought versions. Homemade ginger ale often contains a higher amount of real ginger, as well as the potential benefits associated with it. It also allows for control over the level of sweetness and other added ingredients, making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Additionally, making ginger ale at home can be a fun and creative activity for individuals or families to enjoy. Overall, homemade ginger ale can be a great way to incorporate real ginger into your diet while enjoying a refreshing and flavorful beverage. So next time you’re in the mood for some ginger ale, consider making it at home with fresh ginger for maximum potential health benefits.
How To Make A Real Ginger Ale At Home?
Making ginger ale at home is relatively simple and requires just a few ingredients. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 1 cup of grated fresh ginger root
- 1 cup of sugar (or alternative sweetener)
- 4 cups of water
- Juice from one lemon or lime
- Soda water or club soda
- In a saucepan, mix the grated ginger root, sugar, and water.
- Heat the mixture on medium heat until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for another 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the ginger pieces.
- Stir in the lemon or lime juice and let it cool completely.
- In a glass, mix equal parts of the ginger syrup and soda water or club soda.
- Adjust sweetness and flavor as desired by adding more syrup or citrus juice.
- Serve chilled with ice and enjoy your homemade real ginger ale.
So next time you’re craving ginger ale, consider making it at home for a healthier and more flavorful option.
Tips For Making The Best Homemade Ginger Ale
- Use fresh ginger root for the highest amount of real ginger flavor.
- Adjust the sweetness and flavor to your liking by adding more or less sugar and citrus juice.
- For a stronger ginger taste, let the mixture simmer for a longer time before straining it.
- You can also add other ingredients such as spices, herbs, or fruit juice to customize your homemade ginger ale.
- Make a larger batch and store the ginger syrup in the fridge for up to a week for easier and quicker drink preparation. So why not give homemade ginger ale a try and enjoy the real benefits of ginger while satisfying your thirst? Keep experimenting with different recipes and ingredients to find your perfect homemade ginger ale concoction. And remember, using real ginger is key for maximum flavor and potential health benefits. Enjoy your refreshing and spicy homemade ginger ale.
Daniel Mauney is the Chef/Owner of tapp room Restaurants. He has been in the industry for over 20 years, and his restaurants have been featured in magazines and newspapers all over the country. Daniel’s food is heavily influenced by his travels, and he enjoys incorporating unique flavors and spices into his dishes.
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