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Just what is ginger beer?

We’ve all had ginger ale, ginger beer’s more sedate cousin, which is often used as a light mixer or to combat tummy troubles.

Ginger ale is basically a non-alcoholic, sweetened, ginger-flavored soft drink.

Ginger beer is stronger tasting and spicier than ginger ale, but generally slightly less carbonated. It is much more refreshingly ginger-forward.

Ginger beer originated in Victorian era Yorkshire, England, in the mid-1700’s. It began as a fermented alcoholic beverage made from sugar, ginger, water, and a starter culture known as the ginger beer plant. It was originally a fermented product, resulting in the “beer” moniker.

Ginger ale was purported to be later invented in 1851 Ireland, but modern ginger ale came about many years later in 1907, when John McLaughlin, a Canadian pharmacist, invented what would eventually become Canada Dry.

Ginger beer is the celebrated integral ingredient in cocktails like the Dark ‘n’ Stormy and the increasingly popular Moscow Mule.

According to drinking legend, back in the 1950’s, when products were first starting to ship out of Russia, one of the first products for import to the West was vodka. Unfortunately, this was before anyone really knew what it was or James Bond was extolling its virtues on the silver screen.

One day the weary Smirnoff account rep paid a call on the owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant in Los Angeles. As he was lamenting to the owner about not being able to sell vodka, the restaurateur complained about not being able to sell his proprietary ginger beer. The bartender came over and told them about how his girlfriend bought a warehouse closeout on copper mugs and he had no idea how she would unload them.

Soon the Moscow Mule was born, and marketing, and mixology, history were made.

You can try some of the higher quality brands of ginger beer like Fever Tree, Q’s, or Cock ‘n’ Bull at suppliers like Wyatt’s, which offers you both choice and selection for all your mixology needs.

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