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About Ginger Ale

Chances are that you probably don’t need an explanation of what the delicious golden beverage known as ginger ale is.  It’s such a prolific beverage that most people worldwide, if they haven’t consumed it, at least know about it.

But you may wish to know about its history, and the many varieties it comes in.

Ginger ale has its origins in carbonated ginger beer.  Ginger beer, which has been around for at least a few centuries and made popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland, was an alcoholic drink flavored with, as the name suggests, ginger.

Then came the 1800s, when “soft drinks” became popular to sell in addition to traditional “hard drinks” with liquor in them.  All sorts of flavors were tried to emulate the bubbly carbonated brews of beer, but with sugar and no alcohol.   Ginger ale was invented in the mid-1800s, and became somewhat popular, but it was harsher than the modern commercial ginger ales that you would expect to find at a normal grocery store or restaurant.

It was not until the “dry” ginger ale invented by Canada Dry that the popularity of the beverage really took off.  When most people now think of “ginger ale,” it’s a dry form that they think of.  This is because it’s not as harsh as other drinks, and is popular as a drink for mixing with other beverages, or consumed on its own.  All of the major modern ginger ales are the dry version.

There are other, smaller-scale manufacturing varieties of ginger ale as well, though.  For the less knowledgeable in the subject of ginger ale, “ginger beer” in its original, alcoholic variety is now largely unavailable.  Most references to “ginger beer” now mean the stronger, hotter form of ginger ale that was the predecessor to the dry ginger ales.

The beverage comes in many varieties: Diet, non-diet, bottled, canned, flavored with fruits, flavored with honey, flavored with green tea, and so on.  For information about the many varieties of ginger ale, check out the List of Ginger Ale Brands.