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Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale

Ginger Beer vs Ginger Ale

Ginger is one spice that is used in many more ways than to provide a flavor to food. It belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom. It has been known to people of South Asia since ancient times, and in India consuming hot ginger juice during winters is considered good for health as it increases immunity against fever, cough and cold. It spread to the western world after it reached the Caribbean. Today, root ginger, as it is called to differentiate it from many other things called ginger, is the primary flavor in two types of soft drinks, ginger beer and ginger ale. There are many who remain confused between ginger beer and ginger ale because of similarities in taste, and the fact that both have ginger as the main ingredient. This article tries to find out differences between ginger beer and ginger ale to remove all confusion.

Ginger beer, centuries ago, in 18th century England, was a fermented alcoholic beverage that contained ginger, water, and sugar, and was truly an alcoholic drink, but today, there is no trace of alcohol in the drink, which is why the name ginger beer is really a misnomer. It is no more than soft drink without alcohol, though it is carbonated like other cold drinks and creates a fizz when opened just like other colas and clear drinks. Unless someone ferments it at home, you can remain sure that ginger beer that you get from the market is a pure cold drink that is carbonated and not fermented. However, as it is stringer and spicier than ginger ale, many still differentiate between the two and think of ginger beer as an alcoholic beverage. Ginger beer has less carbonation and is mixed with lime juice to make the taste crispier than ginger ale. Today, most of the ginger beer in US, comes from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.

Ginger ale is found in two varieties golden ginger ale that is basically ginger beer, and dry ginger ale, which shot to fame and gained popularity during prohibition in US. Because of the strong ginger flavor, ginger ale became first choice for those who could not get alcoholic beverages.

One factor that is common to both ginger beer and ginger ale is that, both are used interchangeably when it comes to treating certain symptoms in ailments like gas, diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting, morning sickness, etc. Flu patients drink either of these two drinks to keep themselves hydrated. Both are commonly used as a mixer or ingredient in some punches. Some airlines make use of these drinks to prevent symptoms of morning sickness in their flights.

Despite ostensible similarities, it is easy to make dry ginger ale at home, while it may not be that easy to make ginger beer at home. Water, ginger, sugar, and soda are all you need to make a tasty glass of ginger ale.

What is the difference between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale?

· Despite being called ginger beer, it is not an alcoholic drink, and is very similar to ginger ale.

· Ginger beer is crisper and spicier than ginger ale, and is carbonated and not fermented.

· Ginger ale can be easily made at home, while it is difficult to make ginger beer.


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