All Gentlemen should be able to make a few cocktails exceptionally well, and having the right ingredients is essential. But confusion abounds surrounding one of the most tried and true cocktail mixers: Ginger Beer. Is it alcoholic? (It’s not – not unless they expressly say so.) Are Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale one in the same? (They’re not.) Should a gentleman know the difference and have his go-to brand? (He should.) While rummaging through your bar, you may stop and wonder if you could swap Ginger Ale for Ginger Beer in your favorite Moscow Mule recipe. (You absolutely shouldn’t).
But here’s one you should try: Bundaberg Ginger Beer, which is craft-brewed over three days using real ginger. Although Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale both share a ginger taste and some fizz, the two beverages have quite a few distinctions that a true Aspiring Gentleman should be aware of:
- Flavor: Ginger Beer offers a deep and complex gingery, spicy flavor profile, while Ginger Ale has a subtle flavor that’s more appropriate for a simple spirit mix where you want a much sweeter finish, like a Rye and Ale. If you seek a drink with complexity and a flavor sensation, then you’ll want to use Ginger Beer.
- Ingredients: Ginger Beer has historical roots that date back to England in the 1800s. A true Ginger Beer is made with fresh ginger, not ginger essence or syrup. A great Ginger Beer will also use natural cane sugar to complement the spice of the drink and to give a smoothness you can’t achieve with the high fructose corn syrups found in most Ales.
- Brew: A true Ginger Beer follows a very similar brewing process to that of craft beers. It is made with yeast through a natural fermentation process. The folks at Bundaberg are one of the few to brew their drinks and this small batch method provides a crafted, premium, taste that can’t be replicated by mass produced sodas.
- Versatility: Ginger Beer is ideal for balancing out other flavors like citrus or alcohol. My personal favorite is a twist on the Moscow Mule called a Mexican Mule, made with Tequila and lime juice. And, I have found that Ginger Beer works with everything from gin to whiskey, providing the depth of flavor those sorts of cocktails need.
- Elevated non-alcoholic option: Bundaberg’s stubby glass bottle and depth of flavor provide a refreshing, premium and adult non-alcoholic option, which you should always have on hand for those choosing not to imbibe.