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Best Ginger Ale?

I like Reeds a lot. However, I tried Stirrings recently and it was very good. Any others? Neigher Reeds nor Stirrings uses HFCS.

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  1. Vernor's. Is there others?

    15 Replies
    1. re: azhotdish

      Second on the Vernors.

      1. re: WineWidow

        third on Vernors! :o)

        1. re: kabrown

          Vernors is okay but it tastes too much like a cream soda to me. I like Dr. Browns but when you get right down to it, Canada Dry is pretty solid if maybe a little sweet. I was also not too impressed with the Whole Foods house brand 365. So, Dr. Browns if I can find it but otherwise I'll take Canada Dry. Do I have to trade in my chowhound card now?

          1. re: frankiii

            Yes, you do - Canada Dry is artificially flavored; not an ounce of real ginger in it. Then again, I have to trade mine in as well because I haven't heard of half these brands. I like Schweppes.

            1. re: frankiii

              There is just no comparison. Vernors is a golden ginger ale Dr Browns and Canada Dry, and most all others are dry Ginger Ales

              BTW 4th on Vernors

            2. re: kabrown

              While I have had many really good ones, plus some excellent ginger beers, I will also cast my vote for Vernor's. It is the best, in my vast experience.

              Hunt

              1. re: kabrown

                fourth on Vernor's.

                1. re: kabrown

                  Fourth on Vernors'!

              2. re: azhotdish

                another tally for vernor's

                1. re: azhotdish

                  I don't know whether the Vernor's we get in Toronto is different from the US version. I used to like it, but it became rather insipid several years ago.

                  I tend to mix my own using something called Aunt May's ginger syrup and seltzer.

                  1. re: embee

                    That's really too bad because I remember when Vernor's would tickle your nose and make you cough it was so effervesent and gingery.

                    1. re: KristieB

                      Yes!!! The only pop that was heated and used as curative for colds...so many moms did this.

                  2. re: azhotdish

                    Vernors!!! All the way!

                    1. re: krochetnkat

                      Fifth to a google on the Vernor's. Jinx. World's best soda, IMO, and arguably a great, great float with a very large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream topped with a squirt of ginger syrup or some candied ginger.

                    2. re: azhotdish

                      Maybe I just got a bad bottle or something but the Vernor's I bought here in California had no flavor at all and no ginger-y bite, was like weak 7up...

                    3. Blenheim used to be big in the Carolinas. I had a bottle of the spicier version and thought it would take my throat off. I don't know what the status is now.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                        Love blenheim! everyone else I know can't handle it though =/

                        1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                          A friend brought some home once and holy mother of god! It was like drinking ice cold liquid fire.

                          1. re: bryan

                            I am/was a major fan of Blenheim. Vernors is populare around here but i find it to be too vanilla-ish for rmy taste.

                          2. re: Jimmy Buffet

                            Oh how I miss Blenheim! Before they sold the place, they used to close for indeterminate amounts of time when they vacationed or whatever. Those were tough weeks! Haven't had one for ages. I wonder if it's still as good since they sold.

                            1. re: debbiel

                              Sold? It's made right by the "Pedro's South of the Border" roadside mecca, and widely available throughout that place. I bought a 6 pack of the Diet variety this weekend at a Piggly Wiggly on Folly Beach.

                              1. re: BustedFlush

                                Well, it's been almost 20 years since I lived in SC. The sale I'm talking about was 1993, when the Pedro's people bought it. I finally had some again last year and it was still great.

                            2. re: Jimmy Buffet

                              Add one on for the Hot Blenheim. Still huge around here. Still made local.

                              1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                It's still good. Had a bottle of it last month.

                              2. Golden or Pale Dry.....Golden Ginger Ale is getting to be a scarce commodity

                                1. I think it depends upon how you like your ginger ale. The variety of responses so far points to a variety of different types of ginger ale. Here's my typology:

                                  One type are the widely-available and popular brands like Canada Dry (and others). To me, these barely taste to like ginger ale, but I know people who swear by the stuff.

                                  Another type is the Vernor's style, which has a stronger ginger taste than the popular brands, but also a creamy taste, and it doesn't have much sharpness (hence, Frankiii's posting about it tasting like cream soda).

                                  A third type are the sharp ginger ales, such as Reeds and Blenheim's (and probably most "crafted-style" ginger ales available at specialty stores). These actually taste like carbonated liquid ginger--esp. Blenheim. (Like Jimmy Buffet, I thought Blenheim was going to damage my throat: it's so strong that I had to hold my breath while putting the bottle to my mouth because the fumes coming out of the bottle would cause me to cough.)

                                  I love ginger and I love cream, so that's probably why I like Vernor's the best.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: alanstotle

                                    Exactly.

                                    I don't like cream soda-type flavours. I'm with frankiii; I like Canada Dry. Have never tried Blenheim but it sounds similar to Pangleheimers sparkling hot from Charlotte, NC, which just about killed me (and I like hot stuff). My father used to make a lovely hot ginger ale that was very drinkable. Pangleheimers, OTOH, seemed dangerous.

                                    I'll try Gus if I can find it.

                                    1. re: alanstotle

                                      I had some specialty ginger ale at a Scottish Festival last year. I didn't recognize the name (it had a beige/brown can, perhaps old-timey font and graphics). It was SPICY. I had been sick earlier in the week, and wasn't 100% yet (cough), and it was too much for my throat to handle, so I couldn't finish it. Which is too bad, as I LOVE strong ginger!

                                    2. Northern Neck Ginger Ale...regular or diet...both are very good and have a big "bite" to them.

                                      1. I forgot to mention that I have also made it at home and that has worked out pretty well

                                        1. Blenheim when I'm in the mood for some strong searing ginger down my throat. Gus when I prefer something lighter.

                                          1. Like others said for spicy you want Blenheims. I think it is much better than Reed's. Stirrings is ok but not great, sort of like a better version of canada Dry. Vernor's is good but like others say it seems like it is half ginger ale and half cream soda.

                                            But there is a brand new one on the market. Fever-Tree from the UK. Just released a week or so ago with limited west coast distribution. Very expensive, basically made as a mixer for premium spirits, but it is made with three types of ginger including young "green" ginger. It is a very unique ginger ale, not that hot and spicy but with a great flavor.

                                            http://www.slashfood.com/2007/03/28/f...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: JMF

                                              Heard about Fever-tree, wish it were down in the Carolinas as I would like to compare with Blenheim.

                                            2. Have you tried Cock and Bull? It's nice and spicy. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have HFCS. I've bought it at BevMo.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Sebby

                                                I love this Cock and Bull when I'm at BevMo I pick up a six pack or 2 of this and Blenheim, there is also a spicy Jamaican brand from Boston I love as well!

                                                1. re: wizardx

                                                  Any Jamaican Style Ginger Beer floats my boat. My son and I love the spicy taste- really helps on a hot day.

                                                  1. re: drmimi

                                                    I just had a british style ginger beer at a New Paltz NY restaurant with rum. It was incredibly spicy. The company that makes it is http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk
                                                    Loved it.

                                                    1. re: serveitforth

                                                      Is there a difference between ginger beer and ginger ale?

                                                      I like Fentiman's and Old Jamaica Ginger Beer.

                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                        """Ginger beer is similar to ginger ale except that it has a significantly stronger ginger taste, often being described as ginger ale with a kick to it. Its other distinctive properties include its traditional cloudy appearance, its predominantly citrus sour taste base and its spicy ginger bite."""
                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_beer

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          Some ginger beer (Fentimans' Traditional Ginger Beer for example) may also be classified as an alcoholic beverage. I was carded yesterday buying some (along with a case of Bendaberg Ginger Beer - although I wasn't carded for it). The label states that the "Fermented Botanical Ginger Drink" contains "less than 0.5% alcohol by volume" (which I think is the same amount as non-alcoholic beer?).

                                                          1. re: blackoak

                                                            That's true, in thier original form, most of the Ginger beers got thier carbonation via fermentation , as did the ginger ales, root beers, Brich beers etc (which is proably why we still refer to them as ginger ale, not ginger soda). One of my favortie memories from Camp was when as one of the "modules", we made root and birch beer from scratch (digging up birch and sassafrass roots and harvesting wild wintergreen) , and to carbonate it the councelor had us use yeast (I actually knew enough abotu fermentation to ask about the alcohol, but the councelor (who I expect was not coginzant in fermentation) said that no, yeast doesn't make alcohol (wrong!) two weeks later we got to try the stuff and it still remisn some of the best root beer I ever tasted (bonus story since I was one of the the student wo took the opion to "pool" his rootbeer (we were each entitled to and entire bootle of our own, but some of us agreed to split a bottle the firs ttime around so that there would be extra bottles for us to take home at terms end. When I got to the end of the term however I discover that, the counselelor had made an addional mistake, he had forgotten to take some step (like heating the bottles) to kill the yeast, with the end resutls that, two weeks after we had taken our first sips all of the bottles exploded!)
                                                            I'm actually rather suprised they caded you for the Fentimans. I certinly never have been anywhere around me that sells them (I'm quite fond of the Cola). This inculdes the place that sells the full Fentimans selection which incuded the bottled Shandy (which contains actual beer) which if any flavor would be the one to set of carding flags. Fact is as least in my state 1 proof isnt high enough to warrant carding (I looked it up and the federal cutoff is 5 proof (2.5% alcolhol) Your state (or the store's own policy) may be stricter.

                                              2. At a Los Angeles restaurant, they serve Bundaberg ginger beer, which they describe as a "brewed n/a ginger soft ale." It is the best-tasting ginger ale style beverage that I've ever had.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: DanaB

                                                  Oh yes Bundaberg!!! I got hooked on Bundaberg's ginger beer (and even their diet ginger beer) when I went to Australia recently, and am mourning the absence in the US (though I just found out from elsewhere on this board that Cost Plus sells it). I'm a spicy but not hell burning spicy kind of ginger ale gal. Before Bundaberg, Cock & Bull was my favorite.

                                                  1. re: Alice Patis

                                                    Bundaberg is really, really good...CostPlus Worldmarket carries it. Bundaberg also makes a root beer, but I like other root beers better (it's a little too gingery for a root beer, IMHO). My second favorite ginger ale is Sprecher, but it's hard to find in my area. It's made in Wisconsin, good stuff, with a really great root beer as well.

                                                  2. re: DanaB

                                                    Just tried Bundaberg which was at our premium wine and spirits store, see that it contains yeast but it tasted soapy to me and did not rank high at all in my own quest for the most wonderful ginger ale/beer I can find here in the states. Hate to see I have one more bottle to finish and it was $2 bucks a bottle at that. Yech.

                                                    My all time best was something made from scratch at Coconut Lagoon in Kerela, India. British traditions and Indian fresh ginger is the standard, but who can come close in a bottle with sugar and no HFCS.

                                                    1. re: glbtrtr

                                                      You might want to aviod Thomas Kemper's as well, while the honey sweetening makes for an intersting up from flavor the ginger note itself is rather musty and woody.

                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                        Agree on that one, it was very flat and boring. But had to be included. Lime and honey, right? Something very much did not work with that one.

                                                      2. re: glbtrtr

                                                        Huh... I wonder if you got an old bottle? I'm VERY sensitive to soapy flavors but never tasted them in the Bundabergs I've had.

                                                        1. re: glbtrtr

                                                          I have to take back my first impression of Bundaberg, as I have been moving around every premium brand we have in this town. My second bottle of it was the best so far. I wonder if I failed to shake it up before I had the first one. Too bad, wouldn't you know it that it has to be the most expensive too. Meanwhile, I keep pulling bottles off the shelves of every specialty store I can find. And I am finding a surprising number of choices in my town.

                                                          But one I have not had yet is Vernor's which seems to get the good reports for mass produced .The HFCS is putting me off, but I do need to add it to my tasting derby before I finally settle on ............ Bundaberg. Unless my third bottle of it tastes like dishwater again.

                                                      3. I like the Whole Foods variety, but I make my own because I have a bunch of cornelius kegs lying around for homebrew and I can force carbonate without using yeast. Draft ginger ale.
                                                        2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
                                                        2 lemons, sliced ( use the whole lemon )
                                                        4# turbinado sugar
                                                        20 oz organic ginger, sliced
                                                        5 gallons of RO water.
                                                        Boil the ingredients in 1/3 of the water, strain into a keg, repeat twice more. Also, divide the sugar among the 3 boiling steps. Seal the keg and allow the GA to settle for a week. Rack GA off the sediment into another keg, chill to 40 deg F, and force carbonate. Ready to drink in about 3 days. The carbonation will improve over time.

                                                        1. Goya's

                                                          1. I like to make a ginger syrup using

                                                            two nice sized knobs of ginger
                                                            two cups sugar
                                                            two cups water
                                                            one habanero pepper
                                                            a tablespoon of molasses
                                                            rind from two lemons

                                                            Put it over some heat, let it simmer for about twenty minutes, and mix about two ounces with a cup of sparkling water.

                                                            It tastes goood.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                              schweppes!!!!

                                                              1. re: lollya

                                                                schweppes for me too!

                                                                1. re: lollya

                                                                  Ditto Schweppes! It doesn't have to be an obscure brand to be the best, and Schweppes is just about perfect. I think it's because it's made by Brits and they aren't afraid of the strong ginger flavor.

                                                                  1. re: HSBSteveM

                                                                    i like the schweppes' super-fine fizziness, too!

                                                              2. Polar - limited availability, mostly NE US but I have seen it in NC

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: fatbob

                                                                  I remember Polar from long ago. It was really good. Do they still use sugar or have they switched to HFCS? I

                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                    The bottle of Polar diet gingerale that I have states "all natural ginger " on the front label. The ingredients are carbonated water,natural flavors,citric acid,aspartame,potassium benzoate(a preservative)caramel color,ethyl maltol phenylketonurics;contains phenyalanine.I think that is has much more flavor and snap to it than other major brands.

                                                                  2. re: fatbob

                                                                    Huge ditto for polar - especially for diet.

                                                                  3. Absolutely Northern Neck ginger ale. Bottled by Coke but only in Montross, VA and only available in the northern neck (between the potomac and rappahanock rivers) so far as I know. But if you're ever there, better buy some!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: danbee1

                                                                      ditto ditto ditto! Made with cane sugar.

                                                                    2. Why do you people like Vernors ginger ale? It tastes like bad cough syrup. The best ginger ales are Reeds extra ginger and homemade ginger ale

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: SwissMan

                                                                        GUS (Grown up Soda) Ginger is the best I have ever had, real sugar cane and ginger root extract and is less sweet. Stirrings is very good, champagne bubbles and cane sugar, but it is too expensive and only comes in 7 ounce bottles.

                                                                        http://www.drinkgus.com/

                                                                        1. re: Sean

                                                                          Blenheim...had one this morning...delish!

                                                                      2. What about Boylan's in Jersey? Is it too 'cream soda' like, as some others have mentioned? Not sure if it has real ginger in it, but it tastes good, maybe a bit sweet. I like the real spicy ginger beer, but I find it different than ginger 'ale'. I think I've been brainwashed by Schweppes growing up, but I love the stuff still.

                                                                        1. I'm a fan of Hansen's - strong up front ginger, with a little vanilla in there as well, utterly drinkable, and naturally flavored (they list "African ginger, Mexican limes, Californian lemons and Madagascan vanilla" on the ingredients). Caveat: I've only had the diet variety.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: kilercow

                                                                            Hansen's ginger ale gets my vote. The only pop consumed in my household.

                                                                            1. re: kilercow

                                                                              Happy to buy Hansen's because it is made with sugar, but it was way too sweet for me. Nice mild ginger flavor, but I guess I am looking for something fresher and a lot dryer. Still looking. Dang about Vernors and its HFCS. Wonder if there is a Mexican Coke version of Vernor's overseas or at a specialty store in the US.

                                                                            2. Related to the Northern Neck recommendations above, Carver's ginger ale is the best I have tasted. Real ginger and no HFCS and comes in glass bottles.

                                                                              http://www.realgingerale.com/

                                                                              1. I like homemade ginger ale a lot but if I had to pick a national/mainstream favorite...it would be Seagrams.

                                                                                1. Mmmmmmm, put me firmly in the Vernor's camp!

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: TripChick

                                                                                    I like Maine Root Ginger Brew... Its nice and spicy... It makes me feel better when I overeat and my throat feels good after drinking it too! I got it from wholefoods...

                                                                                    1. re: Aimliz

                                                                                      Second that! Maine Root is the best- spicy, sweet but shades of savory, excellent on it's own or in any number of cocktails(house fav right right is a "punch" of Maine Root Ginger, watermelon juice or peach juice(whatever looked good at the farmer's market) and vodka...

                                                                                      1. re: Bunnyfood

                                                                                        Yuck, I am feeling very out of mainstream as I keep searching for my own favorites ginger ale/beer. Did not like WholeFoods "Maine Root" ginger either, but at least it was not too sweet and had punch. It just did not have a clear or fresh ginger flavor - again slightly on the soapy side for some reason but not as bad as that Australian Bunderberg (?) one which really was very unpleasant.

                                                                                  2. BLENHEIMS...the hot and spicy is amazing...flavor and spice....but for the weak there is the mild. i will drink most ginger ale......i don't care for vernor's.....the jamaican style is real nice, but blenheims is the best.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: scuffletown

                                                                                      I've recenly actually developed a taste for Fever Tree's ginger ale (even if it is tecnically desgined primarily as a mixer not a soft drink). The simple fact is, I Like a bite-free ginger ale.

                                                                                    2. Where do you guys buy your Ginger ale?

                                                                                      1. I second Reeds.

                                                                                        1. BLENHEIM! (nuff-said)

                                                                                          1. Bundaberg ginger beer from Australia, Blenheim (with the red cap) from back east, and Reed's for being readily available.

                                                                                            Bundaberg and Reed's goes great with dark rum and a wedge of lime...

                                                                                            1. Ok. Scratch my Blenheim and Gus rec. The best ginger ale I've had was not from a market but from home. Jean-George's recipe calls for ginger, lemongrass, sugar and chiles (for that lovely burn). The recipe says to leave the skin on, but I think it tastes better with the skin off (or to do a 50/50 skin on/off). If you leave the skin on, it imparts a bitterness.

                                                                                              http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2009/06...

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                thanks for that link, miss n. it looks easy and like a delicious drink.

                                                                                              2. Blenheim. The original peppery ginger ale. I ran into it in South Carolina and then saw it at the Raleigh Farmers Market. Two types. Peppery and Pepperier! What Vernors and Schwepps used to be.....

                                                                                                1. Never heard of Vernor's but I love Reed's. Wish it wasn't a dollar a pop, though. :-(

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                                    World Market has 7oz bottles of Reed's Extra Ginger Brew for 8/$3.99.
                                                                                                    I find I am perfectly satisfied with one bottle & really don't need the whole 12 oz of a reg. size.

                                                                                                    Reed's is my fav, Bundaberg is avail, so I'll get it when I can't find Reed's.
                                                                                                    Bleinhem is ok, but not 1st choice by any means.
                                                                                                    Mainstream - Seagram's wins for a bitier bite.
                                                                                                    Gus was like drinking water.
                                                                                                    I often make my own with ginger, lime, honey & sparkling water.

                                                                                                  2. I've sampled Fever Tree from England. OMG and their tonic water is also an OMG. When I can find it I buy all I can find and horde it.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                      Icidentally I finally got my hands on some of the Fever tree Ginger BEER (as opposed to the ale) after seaching for a very long time. And let me tell you, they are NOTHING alike. While the giger ales taste is quite subtle and tame (one of the reasons I liked it it's "burn" is minimal) The Beer on the other hand is like swallowing a red hot poker, it's THAT firey (I think my mouth actually went numb). Not to my taste but of you like your Ginger drinks with a lot of punch, the beer might be just up your alley.

                                                                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                        Yes, I like it firey! Where can I buy Fever Tree in the states?

                                                                                                        1. re: Isabella

                                                                                                          It's a few years later, maybe too late for you to see this post. You can get Fever Tree Ginger Beer at Whole Foods or Central Market. My favorites are Dr. Brown's Extra Dry Ginger Ale (in glass bottles) + Fever Tree Ginger Beer (also in glass, only). Dr. Brown's Extra Dry in bottles is very hard to find. Fever Tree Ginger Beer is great for nausea. I take small sips + it really helps.

                                                                                                    2. Wasn't there a post somewhere about Stewart's ginger beer? It's my favorite.

                                                                                                      1. Ale81 is a Kentucky concoction, and it's doggone good. Just about my favorite soda ever, ginger ale or not.

                                                                                                        1. Trader Joe sells a kick-ass ginger ale. I forget the name on the label, but it comes in long-neck bottles. I like it a lot.

                                                                                                          1. I've not heard of most of these, but wrote the names down for future reference.

                                                                                                            Interestingly enough, a few weeks ago some friends and I had a discussion on whether you could taste the difference of the "big three"- Canada Dry, Schwepps, or Seagrams. This resulted in all of us having a "taste- off" at our weekend gettogether. 10 of us tried unmarked glasses with a sampling of each and we discussed the variances.

                                                                                                            Canada Dry- those who went into the "experiment" claiming to like this one best were able to choose it from the other two! Many of us found it to be less bubbly and sweeter than the others

                                                                                                            Seagrams- This was deemed a favorite by many of us, including one person who swore up and down that they were a "schwepps gal". I liked it the most and thought it had the best ginger taste of the three

                                                                                                            Schwepps- no one had a major opinion either way on this. It was good, but bland,

                                                                                                            As an added bonus we added a second round with Makers Mark; to see if added alcohol had any affect on which was preferred. People chose the same favorite, but enjoyed this round much much more!

                                                                                                            Thought you'd enjoy!

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: jessicheese

                                                                                                              I drink Old Jamaica a lot. I serve it with a good wedge of lime squeezed into it. Fantastic in the summer. Supermarkets have their own brands here, including Sainsburys which I also buy.

                                                                                                              Had Vernor's growing up and am sorry to hear that it seems to have changed. Have fond memories of having ginger ale with ice and saltine crackers served as dinner when sick in bed with a stomach upset as a kid.

                                                                                                              Bundaberg is available here.. Don't think it is worth the price they charge though. Close to $4 a bottle.

                                                                                                            2. Ale 8 one is the Kentucky ginger ale. http://ale8one.com/

                                                                                                              You really can't buy it unless you are in (or around) Kentucky. Great smooth drink with a little kick.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: sonofdon

                                                                                                                And probably only appreciated by locals. Picked one up while driving home through SE Indiana. Not very fizzy and a definite resinous funk.

                                                                                                                I can see the appeal though if you grew up on it (this from a Chicago boy who likes his Royal Crown). Ginger Ale? Canfields.

                                                                                                              2. I like vernor's, too. For everyday ginger ale, I like the diet ginger ale at Vons.

                                                                                                                1. Red Rock golden ginger ale is great. just a touch of cayenne. Apparently it's been around since 1885, at least the recipe.

                                                                                                                  1. I just tried a Regatta Ginger Beer and liked it. BIG ginger flavor but without the peppery burn of a Jamaican ginger beer. Though for day to day drinking I still prefer Vernor's

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Jack_

                                                                                                                      Regatta is awesome. Especially with whiskey! heh.

                                                                                                                    2. Has any one tried the Ginger Beer " similar to the Ale but has a kick " try the Sri Lankan Ginger beer from Elephant house or there are several flavors available at Cost Plus Markets and Whole foods

                                                                                                                      1. Here in upstate NY we have Saranac Ginger Beer. A nice balance of spicy & sweet- and a sure cure for heartburn or indigestion. Not sure if it's available nationwide.

                                                                                                                        1. Maybe I missed it, but I'm surprised no one mentioned Tom Tucker? My Arkansas grandmother always used this in her mint juleps, and in her recipe (I can't remember the name!) of a mixture of lemonade, TT ginger ale, and iced tea.

                                                                                                                          1. The absolute best I ever had is made in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania. The brand is A-Treat, and they make a "Golden Ginger" that is out of this world. They ship all around the country, use only real sugar and have lots of classic flavors. I have it shipped to Minnesota regularily. www.a-treat.com

                                                                                                                            1. Blenheim is really good.... Best I've had. We featured Blenheim's Ginger Ale at my USAF reunion and everyone there agreed that it was the best that they had tried. That's saying something, because the military "tastes" lots of ginger ale with their bourbon....

                                                                                                                              1. I like SCHWEPPES! It is a must when sick. Stir out all bubbles to calm my belly. HA ha

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: hardtail60

                                                                                                                                  I miss the Schweppes Grape Ginger Ale; it was really tasty on a hot day.

                                                                                                                                2. Bleinhem's #3 hands down.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: TokenOne

                                                                                                                                    Always good to see a vote for the finest of the finest. I think it's time for me to order some more.

                                                                                                                                  2. I have never seen either Blenheims or Vernors. But I live in New England and POLAR Brand and Golden Ginger Ale. Perfection!

                                                                                                                                    1. Blenheim! It's tasty and so hot it'll strip the paint off of your car down to the primer.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Goldspinner

                                                                                                                                        Ditto Blenheims, yummmmmmo.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                          Yep. Gotta agree.

                                                                                                                                      2. Still many I have yet to try (Blenheims for one), but I've tried many and am always on the lookout for new ones. That said, I'd take almost anything over Vernor's. If you like it, great, but with all that vanilla it's not really ginger ale anymore. I do like Reeds, but it's also not truly ginger ALE. My picks are:

                                                                                                                                        Dr. Browns, Hansen's Natural (no HFCS), and Thomas Kemper (no HFCS). The Whole Foods 365 Ginger Ale is pretty serviceable in a pinch.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: bshakin

                                                                                                                                          Really?, I always find Kemper a bit musty/woody.Oh well to each thier own taste (for all I know the orginal bottle of Kemper Ginger I had was stale/spoiling)

                                                                                                                                        2. My family loves Buffalo Rock ginger ale. Well, except for the 7 year old who can't handle it and prefers Canada dry! Ginger ale is the only type of soda I've ever really cared for. Reading through here, I realize I haven't heard of most of these brands. Does ginger ale/beer seem to have more regional variations than most sodas?

                                                                                                                                          1. Having grown up in the Detroit area where Vernors is from, I have to agree Vernors is the best ginger ale. It's also reputed to have been part of the first ice cream soda back in 1875, for reasons unknown called a 'Boston Cooler' in these parts. My grandmother used to feed me Boston Coolers on a regular basis as a child to fatten me up (I was skinny back then), and I still enjoy them to this day.

                                                                                                                                            But it appears there is some confusion about the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer. Ginger ale is a soft drink and always has been. Ginger beer started out as an alcoholic beverage, and over the years evolved to non-alcoholic, but still a lot more potent with ginger taste than ginger ale. The best use of ginger beer for me is a Dark & Stormy, either of which Barritt's Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer or Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer will work fine with Gosling's Black Seal Rum and a twist of lime, for a refined way to get tanked up on a hot summer day. Or any day for that matter.....

                                                                                                                                            Canada Dry, Seagram, Schweppes, are all fine, and I prefer any of them (as opposed to Vernors or ginger beer) in a Canadian whiskey highball.

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ken H

                                                                                                                                              Vernor's is my choice for the commercially available ginger ales, too. But my most favorite is Blenheims. It's hard to find locally, though. The hot is HOT!..

                                                                                                                                            2. How about Natural Brew Outrageous Ginger Ale? - it has a pretty good bite.

                                                                                                                                              1. History of Vernor's, oldest soft drink the US, and why it's so distinctive

                                                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernors

                                                                                                                                                1. I am 16 days out from surgery, and one of the requirements is to never drink soda or anything carbonated ever again. So everybody make sure you especially enjoy all your non-alcoholic bubbly drinks even more.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Was lucky enough to find 4-packs of Fever Tree Ginger Ale & Ginger Beer at a local market today to sample with our bison burgers at dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                                    The ginger ale is very nice, but if you like it gingery and fiery, you can't beat the Ginger Beer (it supplants Bundaberg as my fave now)

                                                                                                                                                    1. Canada Dry or Vernor's.

                                                                                                                                                      1. "Q" Ginger is very good.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                                                                                          Had my first taste of "Q Ginger" tonight. It has a little bite and is very complex and more akin to being a ginger beer than a ginger ale. Outside of it being $42/case [8 ounce bottles], it is a fine ginger ale.

                                                                                                                                                          P.S. For those adverse to HFCS, this product is sweetened with agave.

                                                                                                                                                        2. There are quite a few I have not heard of. That's pretty nice that it looks like there are lot of local ginger brews around. My favorites are Reeds (but only the EXTRA ginger brew - the original is not gingery enough for me!) and Bundaberg. Not a big fan of Vernors or any of the mainstream choices.

                                                                                                                                                          I am actually planning a wide spectrum ginger brew taste off for my birthday in July, so will definitely look for some of the names here. I may add a "mainstream" taste off as well, like jessicheese did. I'll be sure to post results!

                                                                                                                                                          We did a root beer taste off a couple years ago and Abita (out of Louisiana) as well as Dad's were two of the favorites! Dad's is pretty mainstream, so it goes to show you that mainstream can still be as good as microbrew! And I went in thinking Virgil's was my favorite, but it did not stand up to the competition.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Blenheim, Natural Brew, Reeds, Hanson, Stoney Ginger Beer (unfortunately a Coca Cola product, but oh so good and spicy; only available in Africa), Maine Root Ginger Brew, Appalachian Brewing Company Ginger Brew--- preferably with a nice ginger bite and without high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavoring.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Khotso98

                                                                                                                                                              Where is the Appalachian Brewing Co. brew available?

                                                                                                                                                            2. I usually get Vernor's when I can find it, but I recently sent my husband out to get me some ginger ale when I was feeling nauseated from the flu. As you know, ginger ale is great to drink when your stomach's feeling "iffy." He came back with Schewppes and Canada Dry. The Canada Dry was just OK, but the Schweppes was GREAT! Very crisp and fizzy, with a nice assertive ginger flavor. I'd never had it before, but now it's #2 on my list after Vernor's, and much easier to find in regular grocery stores. What a pleasant surprise!

                                                                                                                                                              1. Ginger Ale is a traditional mixer that seems to have fallen by the wayside along with the Rob Roy.

                                                                                                                                                                What kind of "Whiskey and Ginger" combination do you prefer? Previous replies included a vote for Regatta Ginger Beer (BIG ginger flavor without the peppery burn) and Canada Dry, Seagram, or Schweppes, as opposed to Vernors or ginger beer in a Canadian whiskey highball.

                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes you want a mixer that is subdued to allow the flavor of the spirits to come to the forefront. Sometimes a drink that you wouldn't normally drink solo is best for a mixer, like maybe a sharp ale such as Blenheim.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Currently I like Boylan's, Fever Tree, Hansen's and McCutcheon's ginger ales in that order. All clean and crisp with ginger as an actual ingredient and no HFCS.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Bruce Cost. Very spicy, has bits of ginger in it (cloudy), not too sweet. It's more expensive than most, but is certainly distinct.

                                                                                                                                                                    See: http://www.freshgingerale.com/

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Ahhh....sipping a Blenheim ginger ale here in central IL. Went out to Fresh Market because organic mangos were on sale. And there it was. A few feet away. A Blenheim display. I might have squealed in delight when I saw it.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                        Like!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Fever Tree and while you are getting some, grab some of their tonic. It is the best.

                                                                                                                                                                        PS if you buy their ginger beer, be warned, it is almost lethally spiced. Great for Shandys and Dark & Stormys.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Can you get hold of Schweppes? It's a British make

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Fever Tree. Both their Ginger Beer (very spicy) and Ginger Ale are excellent. Made in England, cane sugar. Small fizzy bubbles. Their tonic and bitter lemon are superior to any others on the mkt. Peter's Imports (whole sale chain....I mention that because if you request it at an independent store they may be able to order it). I order them from Amazon.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                              I, too, recommend both of the Fever Tree ginger products.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. i thought of this thread when i saw an ad that seagram's ginger ale not only has HFCS but is now using sucralose to "reduce" calories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucralose

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                I tried that Seagram's diet stuff and it tastes terrible. I'm currently watching my calories and wonder if there is ANY diet ginger ale that's any good at all. Maybe something that uses stevia? Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: feghoot

                                                                                                                                                                                  Try Fever Tree's reduced calorie option. Although it is not mind-blowing, they sell a ten calorie Canada Dry product in my neck of the woods [called "TEN"] that has a little more sweetness than Diet Canada Dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: feghoot

                                                                                                                                                                                    Reed's is currently making a ginger beer with stevia--it is very low in sugars/carbs. 17 grams total carbs. which is pretty low. I haven't tried this particular one, but Reed's does have a decent ginger beer. Some are stronger ginger than others. I am trying to find one that is really strong fresh ginger with very little sweetener and that includes stevia and other plant sweeteners.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sumitrajoy

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the info on Reed's with stevia. Anyone else found any sugar-free ginger ale, preferably with stevia? I love the Reed's Extra Strong Ginger Brew, but it's loaded with calories, and it's starting to show on me. Tried Canada Dry sugar-free and it's terrible- overly sweet and fake tasting

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: feghoot

                                                                                                                                                                                        Another one is Zevia ...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: feghoot

                                                                                                                                                                                          Feghoot--did you ever try the Reed's Light Extra Ginger Brew? Besides the Stevia it only has 55 Calories?
                                                                                                                                                                                          http://reedsinc.com/product/reeds-ext...

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. One more vote for Bruce Cost. I don't think it's brewed or aged, It's just water and real sugar infused with fresh ginger. It's very spicy and somewhat pricey but the flavor's fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                    For a more conventional soda, Saranac ginger beer is spicy too, and mighty good indeed. But the Bruce Cost is my new favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. VERNORS! It's also the oldest. If it doesn't make you cough before you take that first drink... IT AIN"T GINGER ALE!

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                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shabang

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have yet to find a strong ginger ale ... I had to switch to a ginger beer to get a soda strong enough to elicit a cough [from the sting of ginger]. With this being said, I really like Vernor's, but it is closer to a creme soda than it is a ginger drink to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Shabang

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've tried Vernor's a number of times, even a couple of weeks ago, and I don't see the big deal. Blenheim's red cap for me! May not be as old a company, but they've been brewing since 1903. Old enough for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                            Bleneheim's red cap. Always.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Shabang

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wish Vernor's would make a retro version, sweetened with sugar instead of HFCS. It's lost a lot of its bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But, shout out to Vernor's: Amy Poehler was drinking it in last night's Parks and Rec when she was feeling sick (hint: it wasn't the flu). I guess they have it in Indiana!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of "retro", I first tasted Vernor's almost 50 years ago at the big Central Florida fair in Orlando. They were passing out samples and we kept going back for more. It was such a unique, refreshing drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Fever Tree

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Elephant House Ginger Beer. It's a Sri Lankan brand that, from what I've read, is exported to some other countries. Where, I don't know. But it is the best I've ever had. It bites back!

                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, Elephant House ice cream is really good! :)