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What Is Ginger Beer? The Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale

What Is Ginger Beer, Anyway?

For a refreshment so popular, it's interesting to note how many misconceptions exist about ginger beer. The drink, which originated in the mid-1700s in England, was first known as a fermented alcoholic beverage made from sugar, ginger, water, and a starter culture known as ginger beer plant. But today, the name "ginger beer" is actually a misnomer, as most commercial ginger beer is a soft drink and contains no alcohol (although a few brands, such as Crabbie's, do).

In comparison to ginger ale, ginger beer is more robust in flavor with a spicy quality. Ginger beer can be enjoyed alone, but it also plays a starring role in cocktails such as the dark and stormy and the Moscow Mule. How do you like to drink it?

Image Source: Flickr user blmurch
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x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 6 years
I buy this stuff for my boyfriend, he's Liberian (African), and he drinks it straight out of the bottle. I've tried it, but it's just not my thing.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 6 years
This stuff is so popular in Jamaica, where I'm from, but I hate the stuff. Way too strong for me.
msdecember msdecember 6 years
oh how i love it! i drink it by itself mostly... occasionally i will add it as a mixer to a drink. YUM.
danaruth danaruth 6 years
I love it, ice-cold. I've never made any cocktails with it, but I bet they'd be great! We keep some around the house for nausea, and it was great for morning sickness when I was pregnant with my daughter.
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