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Jun 18, 2008 06:49 PM

Idris Ginger Beer - ewwwwww

I just tried some "Idris fiery ginger beer" that I purchased at a British Imports booth at a recent Scottish fair. What a disappointment! Not only was it not fiery, but it was sweetened with aspartame IN ADDITION TO sugar. Alas, I'm one of those unlucky people who can't stand the taste of aspartame. I can't rinse that awful chemical taste out of my mouth!

Why, oh, why did they add chemical sweeteners to a beverage whose first ingredient is sugar? What were they thinking? Luckily, I only bought one can. Never again!

And, because it wasn't spicy in the slightest, I wanted to post this to warn others who might be tempted by the misleading name.

So now I'm back to my quest for some super-spicy ginger beer for my Moscow Mules. I've tried Reed's "Extra Ginger Brew" - it's wimpy and too sweet for me. I really need to find a place in town that carries Blenheim ginger ale.


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  1. Have you tried Goya ginger beer? Its pretty gingery spicy - and if that's not enough, they add a pepper extract to make it extra biting/hot on the tounge. I have found it in about half of the grocery stores in my area.

    1. I'm going off of my faded memory - it's been a while - but if I remember correctly, Bundaberg ginger beer has an intense snappy bite of ginger to it, and I'm pretty sure they sweeten with cane sugar - not corn syrup like Reed's. I actually like (not love) Reed's but mixed with a good rum on a warm summer night. In general, ginger beer and ginger ale are popular in Australia and New Zealand. They can range from somewhat on the tame side to very pungent. I've also seen quite a bit of ginger-based products that originate from Australia - this tells me that ginger is huge Down Under. Maybe you can try some ginger brews from there.

      On the Blenheim website, they do list locations where you can get their products in the Minnesota area. I'm glad you brought up this product as I like to down an ice cold hot ginger brew from time to time. According to Blenheim's website, there's a local distributor just a few minutes from my house (Beverage Warehouse in LA) so I'm going today. Thanks, Anne!

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I eagerly marched down to Beverage Warehouse (OK, no one marches in LA - Angelenos hop in their car and tool down the driveway just to pick up the newspaper) to pick up the coveted Blenheim ginger ale, and guess what? They only carry the whimpier "Not as Hot" version. Is this one worth getting?

      2. Idris isn't so good, but Fentimans, Old Jamaica and Fever Tree all do excellent versions. Most non-diet soft drinks in the UK are sweetened with sugar rather than HFCS or aspartame, so if that's a concern look for the full-fat UK imports!

        3 Replies
        1. re: babybat

          Fentimans has a real bite to it and is botanically brewed and fermented over seven days, which really gives it an interesting taste profile. It does have less than a half percent alcohol due to the fermentation, but it's still considered a soft drink. You have to hunt around for it a bit, but it's worth it.

          1. re: babybat

            > Most non-diet soft drinks in the UK are sweetened with sugar rather than HFCS or aspartame ...

            Yeah, that's what I thought, but not Idris. I bought the non-diet version, expecting that the sweeteners would be "full-fat" (love that! :-). The can wasn't marked "diet", so I certainly didn't expect aspartame. Bleah!

            Oh, well - live and learn.


            1. re: babybat

              Babybat You can get FEVER TREE Ginger beer?!?? Around me that's one of the two "lost" fever tree flavors (The other being the lemonade) the ones that none of the stores that carry fever tree stock.

              Oh and for those who have acess to one, Chef Central has plentiful supplies of the Fentimans Ginger beer along with the other Fentimans flavors (except for the Shandy and the Dandelion and Burdock, I guess those are too "British" to sell well.

            2. Thanks for the tips! I need to start hunting for a place that sells six-packs of ginger beer. I can get Blenheim's at a few restaurants in town, but I don't want to pay restaurant prices for a bottle to take home. (Still, it's probably cheaper than mail order.)

              In the meantime, I've started soaking ginger pieces in vodka for my Moscow Mules. It's quite tasty, but it's not ginger beer...


              1. I agree. I got sucked in by the "Try me if you dare!" and bought two cans. Also who puts sugar AND artificial sweeteners in a soda??? And the ginger content was pathetic about the same as Canada Dry but not as good. Reed's is also crappy.

                GOYA is my favorite now followed by Old Tyme which is harder to find anyway. I hear stories about Blenheim, but still haven't tried it.

                I'm trying to contact the company what a piece of crap!