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StraightNoChaser

Best ginger ales/brews for bourbon/rye

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StraightNoChaser

I've been experimenting with several ginger brews lately and testing their compatibility with whiskey. Here are my favorite results so far:

Blenheim Red Cap

The mother of all ginger ales! Light up front but with a huge spicy ginger bite at the end. So far I've mixed it with OWA and Bulleit with fantastic results!

Maine Root Ginger Brew

My second favorite so far in my endeavors. Sweeter and less spicy that Blenheim but still very good. Wonderful texture too. Still has a spicy ginger kick at the end. Was beautiful with Four Roses Small Batch!

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Used this to make a Kentucky Mule, which is like a Moscow Mule with bourbon instead of vodka. Was excellent!

Sprecher Ginger Brew

This was a light and dry ginger brew. We mixed it with Bulleit and fresh spiced cider. A very refreshing fall cocktail. Would have also been good warm instead of on ice.

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moose

Reed's Extra Ginger Brew

Spiciest, most dominantly ginger beer, all time favorite, extremely balanced, my all time favorite

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Excellent all arounder, not too powerful

Cock N' Bull Ginger Beer

Almost as much of a kick as Reed's, #2 favorite.

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cowdery

The main thing to consider about ginger-based sodas is that there is a great range out there and the most fun thing is to taste them for yourself. Even among the major brands there is quite a diversity of flavors.

That said, I always have to recommend Ale-8-One which, as the only ginger ale that's Kentucky born and bred, has a particular affinity for bourbon.

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StraightNoChaser
Reed's Extra Ginger Brew

Spiciest, most dominantly ginger beer, all time favorite, extremely balanced, my all time favorite

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Excellent all arounder, not too powerful

Cock N' Bull Ginger Beer

Almost as much of a kick as Reed's, #2 favorite.

I had the Reed's Premium and didn't really care for it, was quite fruity and mild despite saying "STRONG GINGER BITE" on the bottle. I did see the Extra Ginger Brew while at the store, perhaps I'll get it next time

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cigarnv

Give this a try.....

Ginger Syrup

½ cup sugar (fine turbinado)

½ cup water

¼ lb. fresh ginger root (peeled and finely grated)

In a small saucepan bring the sugar, water, and ginger to a boil. Turn off the heat, and allow to steep and cool for one hour. Strain off the ginger pieces, and reserve the syrup.

Add a bit of seltzer and the bourbon of your choice. I don't peel my ginger and find that adds a bit more zip. Use the freshest ginger you can find as I feel it loses heat as it gets older....

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moose
I had the Reed's Premium and didn't really care for it, was quite fruity and mild despite saying "STRONG GINGER BITE" on the bottle. I did see the Extra Ginger Brew while at the store, perhaps I'll get it next time

Yes, their original one is not quite as good in my opinion, it is good if you do like the fruitiness because thats not often found in other ginger ales. However the Extra Ginger brew does pack quite a punch, much better if you do want that spicy ginger kick.

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smokinjoe

Red Rock is another one that will kick you in the throat if you're not careful. Very spicy. I like Ale-8 if I'm in the mood for a softer, fruitier flavor. I find it mixes particularly well with Bulleit Rye. I'll take regular Canada Dry for just a simple Rye & Ginger, but I'll usually through a few shakes of Regan's Orange Bitters in there to liven it up a bit.

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timd

Vernor's is a unique Ginger Ale from the Michigan area - I don't know that you can find it outside of the great lakes area, but it's a good one, if you want to try something different.

I'm looking forward to trying the Blenheim's, though - love the big ginger burn!

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moose
Vernor's is a unique Ginger Ale from the Michigan area - I don't know that you can find it outside of the great lakes area, but it's a good one, if you want to try something different.

I'm looking forward to trying the Blenheim's, though - love the big ginger burn!

Vernor's isn't very limited, it is on grocery store shelfs here in Colorado, its a nice ginger ale, but I found it to be very mainstream, real sugary and syrupy; it did have a ginger bite to it though. Came off as a Canada Dry with a little more ginger, and being a little more viscous.

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SMOWK
Give this a try.....

Ginger Syrup

½ cup sugar (fine turbinado)

½ cup water

¼ lb. fresh ginger root (peeled and finely grated)

In a small saucepan bring the sugar, water, and ginger to a boil. Turn off the heat, and allow to steep and cool for one hour. Strain off the ginger pieces, and reserve the syrup.

Add a bit of seltzer and the bourbon of your choice. I don't peel my ginger and find that adds a bit more zip. Use the freshest ginger you can find as I feel it loses heat as it gets older....

I also recommend trying this recipe. I've made a few batches of this up and it is fantastic.

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smokinjoe
Vernor's is a unique Ginger Ale from the Michigan area - I don't know that you can find it outside of the great lakes area, but it's a good one, if you want to try something different.

I'm looking forward to trying the Blenheim's, though - love the big ginger burn!

Thanks for the mention of Vernor's, Tim. I've loved it for years. My grandpa Leo and grandma Mary used to bring it to us when when they visited us when we were kids. We get it now, down here in Georgia, but haven't picked it up in some time. Oddly, I've never tried it with bourbon. Maybe, I'll try it later this week.

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cowdery

Vernor's is here in Chicago. It seems to be well-distributed, at least here in the Midwest. It has a very unusual flavor.

Seagram's ginger ale has been on a big push here in Chicago. It's pretty similar to Canada Dry, but attractive at 99 cents for a 2-liter.

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StraightNoChaser

Damn, $.99?? I've been paying nearly $2 for a 2L of Seagrams!!!

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StraightNoChaser
Give this a try.....

Ginger Syrup

½ cup sugar (fine turbinado)

½ cup water

¼ lb. fresh ginger root (peeled and finely grated)

In a small saucepan bring the sugar, water, and ginger to a boil. Turn off the heat, and allow to steep and cool for one hour. Strain off the ginger pieces, and reserve the syrup.

Add a bit of seltzer and the bourbon of your choice. I don't peel my ginger and find that adds a bit more zip. Use the freshest ginger you can find as I feel it loses heat as it gets older....

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unclebunk
Thanks for the mention of Vernor's, Tim. I've loved it for years. My grandpa Leo and grandma Mary used to bring it to us when when they visited us when we were kids. We get it now, down here in Georgia, but haven't picked it up in some time. Oddly, I've never tried it with bourbon. Maybe, I'll try it later this week.

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Jono

Ralfy mentions this soft drink in his recent vlog #222:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irn-Bru

Irn-Bru..."iron brew"

Supposedly it is distributed world wide but probably concentrated in Scottish ex-pat areas. I cannot say that I have seen it around my area and if I did I would not have had a clue as to what it was...apparently it is a cinnamon rose water ginger citrus type of soda.

" Compliant Irn-Bru is solely imported by Great Scot International in Charlotte, North Carolina, who supplies distributors and retailers throughout the US. It is only supplied in 500 mL."

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smokinjoe
Vernor's is pretty much all I buy, unless I'm out and can't find it at a particular store. I've never mixed it with bourbon but often have it with Rittenhouse Rye and find it delicious. Give it a spin!

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unclebunk
Thanks, Hank. I will pick up some tomorrow. No RBIB on tap, so I'll go with Triple R

:toast:

I think you'll enjoy the combination, Joe. The Vernor's really does marry well with rye whiskey IMO. Might have to join you on that ginger ale and rye today while enjoying the last genuinely warm day we're supposed to have around here before things turn rainy and cold.

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SMOWK

With all of the ginger talk and experimentation lately, I came across a "Powell & Mahoney Limited 1881 Original Recipe Old BallyCastle Ginger Micro Batch All-Natural Cocktail Mixer." Slides right off the tongue...

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Natural Ginger Flavor, Ginger Extract, Fennel Extract, Elderflower Extract, Milk Thistle Extract, Caramel Color.

Going with me to my fathers house tonight. The girlfriend teaches GED classes tonight, and my mom is going to her bowling league. Just two guys hanging out with Bourbon, Ginger, and a homemade pizza. I'll report back later.

http://powellandmahoney.com/ginger.html

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SMOWK

I must say, highly recommended. SPICY, not as sweet as I assumed. A hint of cinnamon (could've been the ogd114). I will definitely buy more of this.

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jburlowski

Ale 8 One... Why are we talking about the rest. :lol:

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stiffchainey

I prefer Schweppes Ginger Ale, but haven't had a different one in years. Schweppes is probably the best in europe. Haven't tasted any non-european ginger ales. On vacation in Los Angeles (2004) i had some bourbon with ginger ale on different clubs along sunset strip and they all tasted great, but dunno which brands.

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Ejmharris
Ale 8 One... Why are we talking about the rest. :lol:

Agreed, Ale 8 is king. Although there are some very good others they are 5x the price.

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cowdery

I agree that Ale-8-One is number one, but I can't haul enough Ale-8-One to Chicago to fix me between Kentucky trips.

Also, most of the boutique ginger ales are sharper, more bitter, so good if you're in that kind of mood.

In what I can get here at Ale-8-One type prices, I prefer Seagram's and Canada Dry, but I'd rather have Ale-8-One.

I keep bugging people at Binny's to start bringing it in. They got Very Old Barton, after all.

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T Comp
I agree that Ale-8-One is number one, but I can't haul enough Ale-8-One to Chicago to fix me between Kentucky trips.

Also, most of the boutique ginger ales are sharper, more bitter, so good if you're in that kind of mood.

In what I can get here at Ale-8-One type prices, I prefer Seagram's and Canada Dry, but I'd rather have Ale-8-One.

I keep bugging people at Binny's to start bringing it in. They got Very Old Barton, after all.

Ale-8-One (and the 6 year HH BIB) not even sold in the western Kentucky, Henderson/Owensboro area, either. I have to go there several times a year and sure keep looking. My case I brought back from Bardstown in September is nothing but empty bottles now too.

Adding insult to injury in my visits to that area is the recent closing of Ralph's Hickory Pit BBQ in Henderson. I'm still not over the shuttering of the Shady Rest BBQ in Owensboro and now this :cry: .

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