For a refreshment so popular, it's surprising 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?