Ginger Ale is a carbonated ginger soft drink. Traditionally, it was used as a mixer to make other alcoholic or fancy cocktail drinks.
The majority of people still enjoy drinking it as a healthy beverage due to the presence of real ginger and Ginger Ale Benefits.
Ginger ale manufacturers usually market ginger ale as a tasty beverage that offers a fair share of ‘real ginger’. But recently, it is becoming difficult to identify ginger ale having real ginger in them.
So how healthy is ginger ale? Is there any real ginger in Ginger Ale?
Does Ginger Ale Soda Actually Have any Real Ginger?
The majority of ginger ale sodas do have real ginger. But the real question is how much real ginger is present in them.
The answers might surprise you, to say the least! The results are quite underwhelming and disappointing in some cases.
Let’s discuss the facts below for some very popular Ginger Ale Brands that are highly successful at their trade. This will help you decide if your ginger ale is good for you.
1. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
The Canada Dry manufacturing company has been around for a very very long time! They are actually the pioneers of Ginger Ale. No wonder they are the reigning Ginger Ale brand.
Surprisingly! In the past, Canada Dry had been involved in a lawsuit for not using any ginger root extract in their products. This comes as a surprise and disappointment for many ginger beverage fans.
This lawsuit resulted in an $11.2 million settlement and the company dropped the line “Made from Real Ginger”
These days, the company takes great care to mention their ginger extract content as just 2%. This at least ascertains the presence and quantity of ‘real ginger’.
2. Schweppes Ginger Ale
Schweppes follows Canada Dry in popularity. This successful company definitely has a winning recipe. Taste and brand loyalty are the key to the high demand for Schweppes Ginger Ale.
This must have real ginger in it as they do quote below on their website
“The ginger root is steeped over time and then cold pressed to release its rich, earthy character, adding citrus oils to the blend. It is finished with a touch of chilli sourced from India, one of the world’s hottest climates, giving it a taste like no other.”https://schweppes.com.au/products/dry-ginger-ale/
Do note that Schweppes does not mention ‘real ginger’ in nutrients besides the name on the label!
3. Reed’s Ginger Ale
This company has been around since 1989 and boasts of a wide range of ginger products. One particularly famous Ginger product is Reed’s Ginger Ale. This ginger ale contains ‘real pressed organic ginger’.
You will also be glad to know it is NON-GMO ginger. Genetically Modified (GM) plants are engineered and enhanced by humans.
Good to know everything in here is organic! We are happy to see that they have Natural Flavors and Pressed Organic Ginger.
We would recommend Reed’s ginger to have real ginger in it.
4. Seagram’s Ginger Ale
Seagram’s Ginger Ale is one of the top ginger ale manufacturers in the world.
What makes this ginger ale so popular? Seagram’s Ginger Ale claims to have a fresh natural taste. Meaning there is a small amount of real ginger.
The exact amount or percentage is secret to protect company recipes. Phew! Some details have to be kept a secret!
5. Blue Sky Ginger Ale Soda
The Jamaican-inspired Blue Sky Ginger Ale Soda claims to be “flavored by nature”. Although this means there is real ginger root present, the quantity is not mentioned on the packaging. Other advantages of this ginger ale include:
- No Caffeine
- Negligible fats
- No Sodium Carbonate
This makes this Ginger Ale beverage slightly healthier than most others!
6. Vernor’s Ginger Ale
Vernors Ginger Ale is quite popular in Michigan, USA. The company has launched a new flavor “Black Cherry ” recently.
While I have tried to find more but these are the ingredients it seems to have :
Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Natural, And Artificial Flavors.
Thus, we cannot be sure that Vernor’s Ginger Ale has real ginger in it.
7. Brooklyn Crafted
Brooklyn does mention ginger in the ingredient list and has tried the sugar-free version as well to make it more healthy. The sweetness in this comes from Stevia.
Brooklyn Crafted does market it as quite gingery but with the real taste, I will not still recommend it.
8. Cape Cod ale
Cape Cod Ginger Ale is another brand that has real ginger in it. The company brags about blending only 5 Ingredients, Fresh Organic Ginger, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, and a plant-based enzyme.
Though from a taste perspective, I will give it a pass. For a nutritional remedy, one can take a spoonful before bed.
9. Bruce Cost Unfiltered
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is another one that boasts of being “Made with 100% real ginger”. They say that it is made only with fresh ginger and pure cane sugar so it should contain some of it.
In taste, it seems more like Brooklyn Crafted. This is no surprise since both the products are made by the same company.
10. Polar Ginger Ale
This is not one of the more popular ginger ale brands in the USA.
They also market their ale as made with real ginger but looking closely at the ingredient list, there is no mention of ginger. It has carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup as its core ingredients.
While it does taste good, I am not certain if has enough ginger to be considered real ginger in it.
11. Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Coming in golden color and having a gingery taste, this is an ale of choice when mixing with whiskies.
Fever tree advises it as a mix of choice for finest whiskies. They also claim to source ginger from three different parts of the world.
- From Cochin in India, we source a variety that lends a warm and spicy flavor.
- From the Ivory Coast, we get fresh green ginger that has an incredible lemongrass freshness.
- Finally, our Nigerian ginger brings a deep, intense flavor to the blend.
While they don’t provide information on how much ginger is used, the taste is quite gingery.
I love this one and consider it to be the finest choice of ginger ale that has real ginger in it.
Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer: Which Has More Real Ginger
Ginger beer is known to naturally have a stronger gingery taste than Ginger ale. This does not necessarily mean it contains more ‘real ginger’!
In fact, often Ginger ale contains more real ginger as it does not contain alcohol.
Is Ginger Ale Good For You? Benefits and Side Effects – Read here
Why Does Ginger Ale Need Real Ginger?
Everyone knows about the health benefits of ginger.
People prone to nausea and upset stomachs would like to know the best ginger ale for nausea. Ginger ale can soothe the stomach and the carbonation can help eliminate gas.
There is a special ingredient that is effective against vomiting. Just as Gingerols make ginger spicy, Shogaols make ginger a nausea aid.
These compounds relax the gastrointestinal tract. They do this by placing a block on receptors responsible for vomiting. In other words, ginger can act in the same way as anti-nausea medications act.
How good is Home-Made Ginger Ale?
One way to know there really is the real ginger root in ginger ale is to make it at home. Home-made ginger ale allows you to add your own ginger amount. Luckily, it also allows you to keep an eye on how much sugar is being added.
With the right ingredients, it is relatively easy to make ginger ale syrup. You can dilute this syrup with carbonated water and serve it with ice and mint.
This is certainly the healthiest with you controlling the ingredients.
How to make a Real Ginger ale at Home?
If you are not happy with the commercial choices or just in the mood to make real ginger ale at home, you can do that. Let us look at the steps that you can follow to make one at home.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups fresh chopped/sliced ginger
- 3 strips of lemon peel, about 4 inches each, yellow part only
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 quarts of club soda or sparkling water
Steps to make real ginger ale at home
- Remove the peel of the ginger and chop or slice your ginger.
- For every cup of ginger, use 4 cups of water.
- In a pan, put water, chopped ginger, and some lemon peel.
- Boil this and then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 – 15 minutes with constant stirring.
- Strain this so as to squeeze out the ginger juice in a pan.
- Add a cup of sugar for each cup of ginger to this and then put the heat on.
- Stir it constantly, and continue to heat until it is reduced to 3 cups.
- Let it cool down and then put it into the fridge.
- In a sealed bottle/container, you can store this for a week in the fridge.
- While serving mix 1/4 cup of this concentrated ginger syrup with 1 cup of club soda or sparkling water along with some ice.