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Ginger Ales You have Loved

pengcast Mar 3, 2008 08:58 PM

The message about root beer made me think about the great ginger ales I have had. The best was Jamaica Dry, which came in a green bottles with red and white printing.

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  1. t
    Tay RE: pengcast Mar 3, 2008 09:07 PM

    I like the classics: Canada Dry, or Schweppes, When I was a kid I always mixed with oraange juice or pretty much any other fruit juice. Now, I "cut" juice with lemon lime seltzer.

    1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: pengcast Mar 3, 2008 09:12 PM

      The bite-ier the better. I like the hot Jamaican styles. Reed's will do for an everyday. And when I'm in Canada, a drink a few Old Cockerel ginger beers.

      8 Replies
      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
        jazzy77 RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 4, 2008 11:27 AM

        If you like hot ginger ales, you should also try Blenheim Extra Hot. It's a southeastern regional ale (made in South Carolina).

        Alas, I love it, but it doesn't love me back, it's almost too painful to drink.

        1. re: jazzy77
          Bob W RE: jazzy77 Mar 4, 2008 12:09 PM

          Blenheim is in a class by itself. That is one spicy drink.

          Interestingly, it's now owned by the folks who own famed tourist trap South of the Border (the bottling plant is just a couple miles away). You can pick up Blenheim if you make a pit stop at SOTB.

          1. re: Bob W
            jeanmarieok RE: Bob W Mar 6, 2008 02:04 PM

            Blenheim's is my favorite of all time! That hot ginger ale is something else! I like Vernors a lot, too. When I was a kid, it always seemed more gingery or something than the regular supermarket brands, so it's the brand I look for at the grocery store.

            1. re: jeanmarieok
              LaLa RE: jeanmarieok Jan 15, 2009 05:36 PM

              I heart Blenheim Ginger Ale.

              1. re: LaLa
                LaLa RE: LaLa May 12, 2009 07:23 AM

                I think my favorite thing about moving to sc is the ability to have Blenheim all the time.

        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          beth1 RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jan 13, 2009 07:23 PM

          I finally found Blenheim in San Diego!! I was so happy. Of course, all my friends had to try it. I "neglected" to warn of the bite and got to watch them all choke and cough. :)

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
            jordan99 RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jun 9, 2009 10:24 PM

            Where in Canada are you able to find the Cockerel ginger beers?

            1. re: jordan99
              BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: jordan99 Jun 9, 2009 11:25 PM

              Mostly in bodegas around downtown Toronto. Any neighborhood with a Caribbean population will be likely to have 'em.

          2. azhotdish RE: pengcast Mar 3, 2008 09:27 PM


            13 Replies
            1. re: azhotdish
              Sean RE: azhotdish Mar 4, 2008 05:09 AM

              Stirrings. Made with real cane sugar and real ginger. It has Champagne style bubbles. Unfortunately it only comes in 7.5 oz bottles...

              1. re: azhotdish
                coney with everything RE: azhotdish Mar 4, 2008 05:37 AM

                Vernors...especially before the HFCS was added. It seems too sweet now.

                1. re: coney with everything
                  SSqwerty RE: coney with everything Mar 4, 2008 06:31 AM

                  Third for Vernors, although they weakened it a bit when RC Cola bought it.

                  Do you know this website? http://www.beveragesdirect.com/

                  Some great ginger ales there, although I would recommend against the Stewart's.

                  1. re: coney with everything
                    Kelli2006 RE: coney with everything Mar 4, 2008 06:40 PM

                    I miss the older Vernors recipe that was called ginger beer. Blenheims is very good, so I always buy a case to take home when I visit my sister in Asheville.

                    1. re: coney with everything
                      corneygirl RE: coney with everything May 12, 2009 02:51 PM

                      My mom loved Vernors so much I was well into my 20's before I even thought to try a different brand. It's still my fave, even though I don't drink pop much if I see it around I always get one.

                      1. re: corneygirl
                        kchurchill5 RE: corneygirl May 12, 2009 04:34 PM

                        I love it, the only one I drink

                    2. re: azhotdish
                      heathermb RE: azhotdish Mar 4, 2008 06:20 AM

                      Another vote for Vernors...although I haven't had it in 6 years or so since my last visit to Michigan.

                      1. re: heathermb
                        KevinB RE: heathermb Mar 4, 2008 06:29 PM

                        Vernor's is actually available in Toronto these days, although it varies from store to store (and day to day).

                      2. re: azhotdish
                        xman887 RE: azhotdish Mar 5, 2008 08:41 AM

                        love vernors.

                        remember vernors ice cream?

                        1. re: xman887
                          KevinB RE: xman887 Mar 6, 2008 01:38 PM

                          I used to enjoy a drink made from half chocolate milk, half Vernor's. Add the Vernor's slowly, as it fizzes like crazy. Incredibly tasty.

                          1. re: KevinB
                            dolores RE: KevinB Jan 14, 2009 01:27 AM

                            Ginger ale is supposed to have a bite? I didn't know that.

                            I only remember Canada Dry as a kid, my father used to cut his wine with it.

                            And Kevin, I had milk, Bosco, and Canada Dry g/a as a kid! My mother's version of an egg cream, I guess.

                            1. re: dolores
                              foodperv RE: dolores Jan 14, 2009 08:40 AM

                              i do like the jamacian types as well.
                              for those here in new england
                              who would like to try an ale that is 1 step up up from the typical aks can dry shweppes polar etc..
                              try one called chelmford g-ale it is put out by can dry, polar, maketbasket, it is brown in color and
                              to best describe the difference
                              it is the diff between vanilla ice cream and french vanilla ice cream
                              still sweet just more intense

                              1. re: foodperv
                                dolores RE: foodperv Jan 15, 2009 09:57 AM

                                I 'never' knew there were two types of ginger ale!


                      3. ms. clicquot RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 05:17 AM

                        Growing up I used to love Sussex Golden Ginger Ale. It's got a nice gingery flavour that's a bit different than Canada Dry. Unforunately, I think it's only available in Eastern Canada so I haven't had it in a while.

                        1. j
                          john RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 06:22 AM

                          G.U.S - Grown up soda Ginger ale. I think it uses really sugar cane and real ginger. Quite tasty without being sticky sweet.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: john
                            Miss Needle RE: john Mar 4, 2008 11:58 AM

                            I like GUS as well because it's not too sweet. Also like the really spicy ones such as Blenheim.

                          2. d
                            dude RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 06:29 AM

                            My favorite is Polar, which might only be available in New England. It's dry and refreshing.

                            I like Canada Dry also, which is much sweeter, but not Shweppes or most other brands.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dude
                              al b. darned RE: dude Jan 13, 2009 11:13 PM

                              I agree. Polar is a good GA, and it's available in NYS.

                            2. b
                              Blush RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 11:32 AM

                              Another vote for Vernors. I remember my grandma pouring it out of the glass bottle for me. I had to wait a couple of minutes before drinking or the bubbles would go up my nose.

                              1. Gingerleen RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 11:52 AM

                                I will always love Cotton Club Ginger Ale, I think it's a midwestern brand.

                                1. e
                                  easily amused RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 12:14 PM

                                  President's Choice Ginger-ale (Available in Canada)

                                  Light refreshing taste.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: easily amused
                                    Kris RE: easily amused Mar 4, 2008 05:06 PM

                                    I like Carver's Ginger Ale from Virginia. It has real ginger root flavor, cane sugar and it comes in 12 oz. bottles. As a treat, I'll have a case shipped to me from VA to NYC and savor it over a period of a few weeks.

                                    For a while, it wasn't available because they couldn't find a bottler. But they're back in business now!


                                    1. re: Kris
                                      CDouglas RE: Kris Mar 5, 2008 07:44 AM

                                      Second Carver's. A case won't last more than a week at my house.

                                      1. re: CDouglas
                                        Bob W RE: CDouglas Mar 5, 2008 07:53 AM

                                        Agreed. Carver's is VG ginger ale. Among the many great products made here in VA.

                                        1. re: Bob W
                                          tinymango RE: Bob W Mar 6, 2008 01:31 PM

                                          carvers is very good, i actually went to highschool with the carvers.

                                          northern neck gingerale is also quite good. a commercial ginger ale, but it still uses real ginger. and it's available in those cocacola 12 packs so it's great for bbqs. it's the only way i drink a bourbon and ginger and it's the only thing anyone around here will accept for ginger ale.

                                          1. re: tinymango
                                            Bob W RE: tinymango Mar 6, 2008 07:12 PM

                                            Agreed. I like to buy VA products if they're good, and NN ginger ale definitely qualifies. I also like the old school lettering on the label.

                                            1. re: tinymango
                                              KarenG RE: tinymango Mar 7, 2008 07:08 AM

                                              I was going to mention Northern Neck also. Its definitely one of my favorites-- Its nothing fancy, but personally, I think it beats the taste of Canada Dry any day.

                                              1. re: KarenG
                                                tinymango RE: KarenG Mar 8, 2008 02:40 PM

                                                absolutely. i've been quite spoiled by it. everything else tastes like water. it doesn't have that ginger bite, but it definately has a "pure" ginger taste.

                                                it's too bad about the whole high fructose corn syrup thing.

                                                1. re: KarenG
                                                  cuccubear RE: KarenG Jan 14, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                  Second Northern Neck, but I can't find it in the Valley anymore!

                                                  And, can you buy Vernor's in VA anywhere?

                                          2. re: Kris
                                            kagi RE: Kris Jan 13, 2009 06:54 PM

                                            Where do you buy Carver's? The website only says where to buy Northern Neck. I haven't seen Carver's in Charlottesville in years. I frequently drive down I-95 from DC to NC, though, so any leads in that corridor would be helpful.

                                            1. re: kagi
                                              CDouglas RE: kagi Jan 14, 2009 06:50 AM

                                              Click on "Products" then "Purchase Northern Neck", enter your Zip and Carver's should be the last choice on the list (24, 12oz bottles).

                                              1. re: CDouglas
                                                kagi RE: CDouglas Jan 15, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                Yeah, I saw that, but I'm not really interested in paying to ship it. But I am in Virginia frequently -- so does anyone know any retail stores that carry it?

                                                1. re: kagi
                                                  hmrlovr RE: kagi Feb 13, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                  Wegmans carries Vernor's as does Magruders and Sniders in Silver Spring.There's a brand called Maine Root that makes a killer ginger ale. It's kinda hard to find, but I have had luck finding it in health food stores.Last year in Vermont I had a pineapple ginger beer. Had I know what a killah taste it had I would have bought a case. Unfortunately I threw out the bottle, so the brand is a mystery. Bought it in a gourmet shop in Stowe. May have to return just to procure a bottle of what I now consider to be my holy grail of ginger ale!!!

                                                  1. re: hmrlovr
                                                    kagi RE: hmrlovr Apr 2, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                    It's official: THEY'RE NOT MAKING CARVER'S GINGER ALE ANY MORE. I called the Northern Neck Co. to confirm -- they're pretty sad about it, but they couldn't resist the suits at Coca-Cola. Man, that's a shame.

                                        2. b
                                          Brioche For The Girl RE: pengcast Mar 4, 2008 09:34 PM

                                          Another vote for Vernor's. Yum!

                                          1. SweetPea RE: pengcast Mar 5, 2008 01:52 AM

                                            Vernor's. Hubby likes to pour it over ice and sniff the fizzy. I know, wierd.

                                            1. s
                                              surgeon RE: pengcast Mar 5, 2008 02:04 AM

                                              There was the really great ginger ale in the NY area made by HOFFMAN"S Beverage but like anything else great, it is not around any more Sorely missed !!!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: surgeon
                                                mexivilla RE: surgeon Mar 5, 2008 04:28 AM

                                                When I was a kid there was Canada Dry Royal Amber. It was so good it was reserved as a treat when you were ill.

                                              2. o
                                                Oh Robin RE: pengcast Mar 5, 2008 12:12 PM

                                                Canada Dry of course.

                                                Vernor's... ick.

                                                1. h
                                                  hungry_pangolin RE: pengcast Mar 6, 2008 11:08 AM

                                                  I grew up drinking Temagami Dry Ginger Ale. I forget where it was manufactured, exactly, but it was in northeastern Ontario. It was spicier than Canada Dry, but not as spicy as a ginger beer. I don't know whether it is still being produced. God, that was good stuff.

                                                  1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: pengcast Mar 6, 2008 02:00 PM

                                                    Has anyone tried Barritt's ginger beer? I bought some at my local liquor store for a round of Dark n Stormies, simply because I was attracted to the lovely old-school graphics. Interestingly, when I looked it up online just now, I discovered that it is the official ginger beer of this most delicious drink, and that it's distributed in the US by the folks who distribute Gosling's, the official dark rum of same. I'm extra excited to try it now!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                      tinymango RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 6, 2008 03:42 PM

                                                      actually, my friend brought some back for me from bermuda last year. that stuff was absolutely DELISH.

                                                      1. re: tinymango
                                                        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: tinymango Mar 6, 2008 06:30 PM

                                                        It was great! Not super-hot, but a very nice, well-rounded flavor. I loved it. The drinks were magnificent as well.

                                                    2. DanaB RE: pengcast Mar 6, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                      There was a thread last year around this time on ginger ales. I've posted it below. For the record, my all-time favorite is Bundaberg, from Australia.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: DanaB
                                                        glbtrtr RE: DanaB Nov 14, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                        Yech, Bundaberg tastes soapy and odd to me - not really a ginger flavor at all. Sorry I wasted my two bucks a bottle on this stuff.

                                                      2. h
                                                        Harters RE: pengcast Mar 8, 2008 02:54 PM

                                                        Best commercially available ginger beer I know is Fentimans.

                                                        Amongst other things, they make a great lemonade and a dandelion & burdock.

                                                        All good drinks for those of us who can't or don't drink alcohol and don't want something too sweet.

                                                        1. kchurchill5 RE: pengcast Jan 13, 2009 07:29 PM

                                                          Vernos, a true Michigander ... love the stuff. Can't get enough of it.

                                                          1. t
                                                            toastnjam RE: pengcast Jan 13, 2009 09:30 PM

                                                            I second the Bundeberg Ginger Beer. Yumm-O!! Get it at CostPlus. They do a sugar-free version that is not too bad either especially if it's icey cold.

                                                            1. Soop RE: pengcast Jan 14, 2009 12:40 AM

                                                              fentimanns (sp?). I don't like ginger, or ginger ale (or so I thought). It has a subtle, blended flavour, and a lovely kick of heat.

                                                              *edit* oh, same as Harters post

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Soop
                                                                Soop RE: Soop Jun 1, 2009 04:39 AM

                                                                Well, I picked up 8 of these for £2.30 - they were reduced massively. So I've been drinking ginger beer all weekend!

                                                                It's brewed really long, this one.

                                                              2. v
                                                                vtnewbie RE: pengcast Jan 14, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                                Still love Vernor's, even after the change in formula. When did they start selling outside Michigan, the '80s? They made it milder for a broader audience. Before that, you should not breathe in with the open bottle near your face, or be ready to hack and cough.

                                                                There was another around in the midwest in the 70s, which called tself "Ginger Brau". It was also excellent, but haven't seen it since then.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: vtnewbie
                                                                  Kelli2006 RE: vtnewbie Jan 15, 2009 09:34 AM

                                                                  I grew up in N-E Ohio and glass bottles of Vernor's were always very common, but it was known as ginger beer, and the ginger bite was much stronger.

                                                                2. c
                                                                  chilihead RE: pengcast Jan 14, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                  Vernors, again.

                                                                  I used to be able to find it easily in California and Washington (and of course Michigan) but now I'm in Vermont and ...nothing.

                                                                  1. o
                                                                    Oneiron RE: pengcast Jan 15, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                                    Best Ginger Ale in the world is Red Rock. Small brewer started in ATL many moons ago. Spicier than Blenheim with more carbonation - but made w/ real sugar.

                                                                    1. p
                                                                      pengcast RE: pengcast Jan 15, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                      Jamaica Dry is/was the best ginger ale ever. It fell somewhere between Canada Dry and ginger beer. Alas it is no more.

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        Smorgasbord RE: pengcast Jan 15, 2009 04:26 PM

                                                                        I haven't had it in years [and I don't think they even make it anymore], but I remember being obsessed with Schweppes raspberry ginger ale.

                                                                        1. e
                                                                          embee RE: pengcast Jan 15, 2009 04:56 PM

                                                                          Blenheim. It's amazing stuff and, alas, it is unobtainable in Canada. I used to like Vernor's, but the version sold in Toronto was debased some years ago and is no longer very gingery.

                                                                          1. l
                                                                            LadyCook61 RE: pengcast Jan 16, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                                            Seagrams is my favorite.

                                                                            1. Candy RE: pengcast Feb 13, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                              Fever Tree first had it in London, now i can find it occasionally in the US. Their Tonic water is superior too. I did a side by side taste test with Stirrings tonic and Fever Tree won hands down.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                socaldesign RE: Candy Jun 1, 2009 05:49 PM

                                                                                Vernor's used to be #1 until I tried Fever Tree. Their Tonic and Bitter Lemon are both great, too.

                                                                              2. KaimukiMan RE: pengcast Feb 13, 2009 08:15 AM

                                                                                If you are looking for Ginger Ale as a mixer, you are probably better off using the commercial "dry" or "light" ginger ales. But if you want it to drink on its own, try making some yourself. I never thought about making a "soft drink" (its all secret formulas right?), but ginger ale is really easy to make, and much better tasting than anything out of a bottle.

                                                                                here are a couple of sample recipes:


                                                                                there are fermented varieties, but thats a much more involved process.

                                                                                1. k
                                                                                  KristieB RE: pengcast May 29, 2009 08:18 PM

                                                                                  Vernor's. The bubbles would tickle my nose and make me cough if I tried to drink it before they settled. And the nicely warming sensation just blew other commercial ginger ales away.

                                                                                  1. iL Divo RE: pengcast May 29, 2009 08:56 PM

                                                                                    Vernors used to be thebomb.com but now adays I dream of the bite it used to possess. Now it's but a fond memory

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                      coney with everything RE: iL Divo May 30, 2009 07:36 AM

                                                                                      I wish they'd do a Vernor's throwback like they did with Pepsi...

                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                        Delphine RE: coney with everything May 30, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                                                        I recently noticed that Vernor's now labels itself ginger soda.

                                                                                    2. mess RE: pengcast Jun 1, 2009 09:31 AM

                                                                                      vernors - still has a great bite.

                                                                                      1. w
                                                                                        writeressence RE: pengcast Jun 1, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                                        ooh - Vernors - grew up with the stuff back in upstate NY - finally started seeing it out in AZ so I can get my fix again!

                                                                                        1. g
                                                                                          ganeden RE: pengcast Nov 14, 2009 09:52 PM

                                                                                          Woman named Dorothy used to have a cabin and trading post on a lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (I think it was on Lac Lacroix). She made homemade ginger ale and root beer. I guess it was fermented to get the bubbles, but in any case, I must have been in my early teens, and the stuff was great. We had had a catastrophe when some of our camping gear caught fire, so we managed to canoe to Dorothy's, and while we were picking up what we needed, she treated us to the drinks.

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