Ginger Beer

August 5, 2014

“Ginger beer” can be associated with two different kinds of drinks. The first is a beer with a high alcohol content and the second is a non-alcoholic carbonated drink flavoured primarily with ginger – think “spicy ginger ale”. The picture you see above is of the latter. In this post, I’ll be talking about two of my favorite cocktails using the carbonated style.

Unlike your standard pop drinks (cola, ginger ale, lemon-lime), there is a significant difference between each ginger pop brand. The level of spice and ginger greatly changes between labels. You might find that you hate one brand (too spicy/not spicy enough) and love another, so give a few of them a try.

The first cocktail is the Moscow Mule. Despite the name, the drink originated in the United States in the early 1940’s. It’s as easy to throw together as it is versatile, and as appropriate in winter as it is in summer. It’s just an all around great drink! I won’t lie, one of the best parts is that I get to break out my copper mugs. That’s right, the Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug! Any self-respecting bar that offers these serves it in a copper chalice allowing you to drink it like the king or queen you are. On the other hand, sometimes you’ll order this drink and get a vodka with ginger ale served in an old fashioned glass. Never return to such places.

I looked far and wide for my copper cups… turns out, you can just order them on Amazon. I purchased , and for the price, I’m quite pleased. If you don’t have any copper mugs, don’t worry – it’s purely aesthetic. You can simply substitute a tall glass. If you end up reaching for these often, you might want to consider getting some though…you won’t regret it.


Moscow Mule

1 ½ oz vodka
3 oz your favorite ginger beer
¼ oz lime juice
Mint sprig
Lime wedge

Fill glass with ice. Add vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Stir and garnish with a sprig of mint and lime wedge.

The second cocktail is the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Unlike the Moscow Mule, which has nothing to do with Russia besides the fact that your vodka may have originated there, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy has it’s roots in Bermuda – in fact, it’s their national drink. It’s very similar to the Moscow Mule; just switch the copper for a collins glass and replace the vodka with rum (Gosling’s Black Seal rum to be precise). By law, nothing but Gosling’s makes your drink a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. They even have a trademark which dictates the precise ingredients and amounts required to call a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, well, a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. I found this incredibly hard to believe, but my wife confirmed it to be true. She would know, she’s a trademark examiner by profession.


Dark ‘n’ Stormy

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal rum
5 oz of ginger beer
½ oz lime juice (optional)

Fill your glass with ice, add ginger beer, and pour in the rum.

The dark rum creates a nice cloud at the top of the drink, hence the name.

Give these drinks a try and if you like ginger like me, you might be surprised how often you find yourself reaching for them.

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  • Reply Nausheena August 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Sounds refreshing Bruno! Based on your testing of different ginger beers, any recommendations? Did you find any in particular too spicy?

    • Reply Bruno Meliambro August 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

      My brand of choice is the Old Jamaican seen in the main picture on the left. The grace’s brand has generally not been very well received when I’ve served it, it’s on the spicier side. Conveniently, all three of these brands can be found inside most Loblaw’s stores.

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