It was a dark and stormy night…

Week 48 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously. Ginger beer.

Right about now you’re asking yourself what business ginger beer has being part of a drinking adventure. Ginger beer, as well as ginger ale is a non-alcholic beverage. Right? Right? Well, it so happens, ginger beer is a product of fermentation and as such does contain a trace amount of alcohol -less than 0.5%, the legal threshold for marketing something as non-alcoholic. And in fact, ’twas not always the case. Ginger beer, when it originated, was a much more potent potable than its modern day counterparts. Today’s ginger beers are heated to kill off the fermenting yeast and to boil off the majority of the alcohol, leaving a scant remnant behind.

51fffcpqPZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_According to our guide, several ginger beer brewers have returned to their roots and rather than halt the fermentation process, are allowing the yeast to work its magic and produce more alcohol. I was unable to sample the products recommended, however, but I’ll list them here in case you want to give them a try: Crabbie’s, Ginger Grouse, Hollows & Fentimans -all companies in the United Kingdom. Maybe Lula had better luck…

I do occasionally indulge in a cocktail that makes use of the ‘non-alcoholic’ ginger beer, however, and this is the connection to Snoopy if you hadn’t figured it out…

The Dark and Stormy: dark spiced rum (I like the Captain Morgan Black Rum) over ice mixed with ginger beer. Basically it’s a Cuba Libre with ginger beer instead of Coke. And it’s definitely better in the summertime by the pool. But why not sip as you sit in front of the typewriter,  composing your noir thriller.

And an update from a couple weeks ago… Remember the pickle back? A shot of whiskey or other spirit followed by a shot of pickle juice? Well, in an attempt to be a good sport, I tried it. I had a shot of Woodford reserve bourbon followed by a shot of Klaussen’s kosher dill pickle juice. And…. it wasn’t awful. I can’t quite grasp the point of covering over the flavor and warmth of a nice whiskey with the brine of pickle, though. At least I can say I’ve tried it. Cheers!

Image (of course) from Peanuts by Charles Schulz

55 thoughts on “It was a dark and stormy night…

      1. I suppose that if I were told that it was another carbonate beverage, I would have thought about it differently. I was expected more ‘beer’ flavor. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think that I could have more than one. Now light beer? Bring that all day long! 😀

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    1. I didn’t really see the point of the pickleback – why would you need a briny chaser for a good whisky? Maybe a clear spirit? Vodka or gin? Anyway, love the dark and stormy! And it gave me a chance to use Snoopy!

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      1. Yes, i think that’s true…at least until you’ve had too much and then it’s all just crazy, lol. I used to drink rum and vodka in college so I associate it with that wild time.Of course…I used to drink tequila too…hmm…

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      2. I’m not sure about gin. Haven’t had it much but I didn’t like it. I like bourbon mostly but I’ve been trying things like armagnac and ice wine when I’m out. I want to get a good bottle of brandy or cognac or something- do you have any suggestions?

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      3. My last bottle of cognac was Courvoisier VSOP – very nice. The VS styles are lighter on the palate but if you drink bourbon you’ll like the VSOP. There’s also an XO but I’ve never tried one.

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  1. As a young lad it was a popular pastime to make our own Ginger Beer. First you had to acquire a portion of someone else’s “Ginger Beer plant” then feed it every week and use the result as the basis of a new batch, not forgetting to keep a portion to feed on, and produce ad infinitum. I kid you not! There were many cases of the batches exploding. Ah…..the joys of youth!!!!

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      1. I can’t believe the US has stuck so doggedly to the old system. Metric makes so much more sense. I remember when I was in school, having to ‘learn’ it because surely we were going to change over…

        Liked by 1 person

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