When it come to ginger ale, I’ve had only one opinion: drink it when you’re fluish. Since that was the childhood application for me, it’s pretty hard to separate fever, nausea, and vomiting from those emerald green bottles.

Until now.

After my last Fever-Tree musing, I was invited to participate in intimate Fever-Tree event at Perbacco. Not only did I get to meet the charming Tim Warrilow, the Fever-Tree “plant hunter,” but I got to experience side-by-side comparisons of Fever-Tree mixers against the leading brands.

I had already done the tonic water comparison myself. The only difference was that I had completely ignored the idea that Canada Dry tonic was even worth the plastic it was bottled in. To me, Canada Dry tonic water has a sweet, glue-like smell and an even worse flavor. At the tasting, it assailed my tastebuds with high fructose corn syrup and choked out my throat with unctuous spittle. Not attractive.

However, the ginger ale taste off was a completely different matter. Canada Dry’s offering smelled and tasted like Sprite. Fine, but not really ginger ale, right? Schwepps’ offering smelled like a cleaning product and tasted like practically nothing. However, Fever-Tree’s ginger ale not only spiced my nostrils with raw, sliced, heady ginger but it actually tasted like ginger. In the past, I have held firm that ginger ale in cocktails is nothing compared to ginger beer. That is has to burn going down and make you sneeze after one sip. When it comes to Fever-Tree, I stand corrected. For this particular brand, I might actually relax my ginger beer stranglehold.

Fever-Tree’s ginger ale, like all of Fever-Tree’s mixers, are made from “all natural ingredients, sourced from around the world. A blend of natural botanicals, spring water and a touch of can sugar, Fever-Tree mixers are free of artifical preservatives, ingredients, sweeteners and coloring.” Specifially, Fever-Tree Ginger Ale is made up of three different kinds of ginger: fresh, green Ecuadorean ginger, Cochin ginger from India, and Nigerian ginger from Africa.

After the tasting, I scuttled home to try out a new and very simple cocktail. Full disclosure: while Fever-Tree did give me tonic water samples, which I totally didn’t need since my husband and I had just stocked up on a recent trip to BevMo, they did not give me ginger ale samples. Those I already had in the house, just for kicks.

While on the same aforementioned BevMo trip, I picked up a bottle of gin that had been a curiosity to me for quite some time. Tanqueray Rangpur gin has all the clean notes of regular Tanqueray, but has the added kick of being distilled with Rangpur limes. We first sampled the gin in a very dry straight-up martini, but the aggressive lime tones convinced me I was drinking some old l’Occitane verbena perfume. However, when combined with the Fever-Tree ginger ale, the lime was slightly muted but, like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, still very happy to be there. The ginger sung out spicy and strong without being overly sweet, and the fragrant lime just played right into its piquant hands.

It’s a great summer-time sipper that can be enjoyed when the weather gets hot again.

Rangpur and Ginger

2 ounces Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

The Shake:
In an Old Fashioned, add the gin, ice, and fill to the top with ginger ale.

Fever-Tree Revisited: Ginger Ale 8 June,2009Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Michael

    I also recommend Vernor’s ginger ale. It’s huge in the midwest, and you can find it in some grocery stores out here.

  • Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

    Having grown up with it in MN/MI, I do love me some Vernor’s, but the Fever-Tree stuff is really something special when it comes to mixing cocktails. It’s just so bright and crisp and not cloying or burdened with artificial stuff.


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor