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Ginger Ales You have Loved

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. 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. 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

        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

          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

            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: LaLa

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

        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          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

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

            1. re: jordan99

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

            1. re: azhotdish

              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

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

                1. re: coney with everything

                  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

                    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

                      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.

                    2. re: azhotdish

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

                      1. re: heathermb

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

                      2. re: azhotdish

                        love vernors.

                        remember vernors ice cream?

                        1. re: xman887

                          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

                            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

                              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

                      3. 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. 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

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

                          2. 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

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

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

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

                                  Light refreshing taste.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: easily amused

                                    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!

                                    http://www.realgingerale.com

                                    1. re: Kris

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

                                      1. re: CDouglas

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

                                        1. re: Bob W

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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. Another vote for Vernor's. Yum!

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

                                            1. 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

                                                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. Canada Dry of course.

                                                Vernor's... ick.

                                                1. 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. 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

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

                                                      1. re: tinymango

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

                                                    2. 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.

                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388074

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: DanaB

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

                                                          1. 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. 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

                                                                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. 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

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

                                                                      1. 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. 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. Seagrams is my favorite.

                                                                            1. 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

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

                                                                              2. 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:

                                                                                http://www.recipesource.com/side-dish...
                                                                                http://homecooking.about.com/od/bever...

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

                                                                                1. 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. 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

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

                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

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

                                                                                    2. vernors - still has a great bite.

                                                                                      1. 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. 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.