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What Is Ginger Beer? What to Know About This Drink

Spoon University logo Spoon University 2/8/2018 Brittany Arnett

I'm in love with ginger beer for one simple reason: it masks any taste of alcohol. Moscow mules, which count ginger beer and vodka are the main ingredients, are a prime example of their majesty. But what is ginger beer exactly? I'm going to break it down for you. Here's everything you need to know about ginger beer, aka your favorite new mixer.

What Is Ginger Beer?

a bottle of beer: what is ginger beer © Sarah Wu what is ginger beer

Ginger beer is a soft drink made by fermenting water, sugar, and ginger, and then turning it bubbly with a tangy and sweet twist. Although the name is similar to ginger ale, it's a bit different. Ginger ale is much sweeter than ginger beer, and ginger beer has a stronger taste and is not as bubbly as ginger ale. 

Contrary to its name, ginger beer isn't alcoholic even though its  origins point to it being an alcoholic drink. In the 1800s, ginger beer was commonly enjoyed in England (with an alcohol content of around 11%). However, the modern day ginger beer doesn't carry the same punch. 

Today's ginger beer has no more than 0.5% alcohol, classifying it as an alcoholic-free beverage. So, no, it's not ginger-flavored beer, but rather its own unique drink.

Related video: This Shop Has Over 15 Flavors of Ginger Beer (provided by Thrillist)

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How Do You Drink It?

Oh, the possibilities are endless. Obviously, you can drink ginger beer on its own (it's extremely delicious), but it's definitely more fun to throw it in some cool cocktails (or even mocktails!) 

Typically, ginger beer is consumed in Moscow Mules, which mix of ginger beer, liquor, and fruit or lime juice. It's also typically consumed in popular Bermudian drinks like a Dark and Stormy (which is made specifically with Gosling's rum).

But don't feel limited to those drinks, because ginger beer's taste makes it perfect to mix with almost anything. I personally like to mix it with a bland liquor, some lemons or limes, and a splash of fruit juice. 

Where to Find Ginger Beer

If you've yet to try ginger beer, or at least a good Moscow Mule, then get your hands on the beverage ASAP. It can easily be bought in any supermarket (and it's super cheap at Trader Joe's). If you're just looking for a sample, you could ask for it the next time you're out at a bar or restaurant.

That sums exactly what ginger beer is, aka my favorite beverage of all time. If you're a ginger-fanatic like me, then this drink should definitely be in your fridge.

Related gallery: 12 Ginger Beer Cocktails to Try (provided by Town & Country)

a glass of orange juice next to a cup of beer: <p>The ginger and apple cooler will be a hit at your next cocktail party.</p> 12 Ginger Beer Cocktails to Try
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