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Not all ginger beers are created equal. Just because it has the name ginger beer on its label, it is also good enough to use in the Moscow Mule recipes. In this review, we included some very good candidates but also the bad ones so you know what you are getting into should you decide to buy these. Don’t let the negative reviews get to you, though. It might not be good for Moscow Mules but on their own, they are worthy enough. After all, they stayed in the market for a long time now to discredit them.
The Moscow Mule
Moscow Mule is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice and is best served in a copper mug. This is a very singular recipe with very little room for variation, aside from the choice of the ginger beer and the vodka.
Although it was named Moscow Mule, it does not have anything to do with Moscow or anything Russian. In 1941, while in Chatham Hotel in New York City, three friends wondered what would happen if the liquors that their companies make were mixed together. One of them was John Morgan, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull and makers of Jack Morgan’s Cock & Bull Ginger Beer. The other was John Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc and producer and distributor of alcoholic beverages. The third man in the group was Rudolph Kunett, president of Pierre Smirnoff, one of the divisions in Hublein that specializes in vodkas.
These enterprising men combined 2 ounces of vodka with the ginger beer and flavored it with lemon. The cocktail was so good that the new cocktail was officially named as the Moscow Mule. This account was published in the New York Herald Tribune in 1948 but was later refuted in 2007 and a bartender named Wes Price claimed that he was the one who created the cocktail.
Later, the official vessel for Moscow Mules became the copper mugs, all thanks to John Martin of Hublein Brothers.
The Moscow Mule Recipe
Here’s the classic recipe for the Moscow Mule
- 2 oz Vodka
- Juice of ½ Lime (approx. 0.75 oz)
- 5-6 oz Ginger Beer
- Splash of Ginger Juice (optional)
Instruction to make
- Fill a copper mug with lots of ice.
- Add the vodka.
- Squueze ½ lime into the mug and top with ginger beer.
- Add more ginger juice if you want more spice.
- Garnish with the lime peel.
Reviews did not say that it was the spiciest but rather the most intense in this list, The Great Jamaican Ginger Beer is something to look forward too. Lovely to drink on its own, it’s a good choice.
With no sugar, sweeteners and artificial colorings, the Zevia Mixer Ginger Beer is probably the sweetest deal in this market. Definitely no worries for weight-watchers.
At more that $2 per ounce, Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer is the most expensive ginger beer in this list.
Ginger Beer: The Beer (or Soda?) for Real Men
Ginger beer traces its roots in the mid 1800s in England. Later it became popular in the United States, Ireland, South Africa and Canada. However, the first versions of the ginger beer were not supposed to be alcoholic as it was made as a medicinal drink.
In the UK, some ginger beers are labeled “alcoholic” to distinguish them from the carbonated, non-alcoholic ginger beer that has already gained a good following.
Here’s why we think ginger beers are for real men.
- Ginger beer has a unique flavor. Men like adventure and edge, which are exactly what you’ll find when drinking ginger beer. The complex flavor of spicy ginger and citrusy taste of ginger beer are some of the reasons why real men like ginger beer.
- Ginger beer takes pride in its ingredients. There are no substitutes to quality ingredients when making ginger beer. No ginger essence is added, no artificial carbonation and no high fructose syrups as sweeteners. Only fresh ginger is used here and cane sugar as a sweetener.
- It is brewed, not manufactured. While some ginger beers are manufactured (not fermented) and carbonated with pressurized carbon dioxide, qualifying them as a soda not an alcoholic drink. The alcoholic ginger beers on the other hand, are painstakingly fermented to preserve its authenticity.
- Availability of non-alcoholic options. No one is left behind when you’re partying with people who cannot drink or choose not to drink. Even real men need a break from all that alcohol and testosterone sometimes.
Best Ginger Beers for Moscow Mules
This ginger beer is awesome as a mixer but that stops there. This is not a good choice to be drunk on its own. With extra carbonation added to it, it makes for a good cocktail mixer because carbonation helps to keep the cocktail fresh.
Even with the added sugars in its ingredients, this one uses agave syrup for more character without giving up on the health side of things. It is also non-GMO, vegan and Kosher certified so it can be used even by those with dietary restrictions. Some reviews claimed it is overpriced, though.
This versatile cocktail mixer can be used with whiskey, tequila, vodka, gin, rum or beer. Designed to be a mixer, it gives spice to your cocktails, especially the Moscow Mule. Brewed since 1874, there is no doubt for a product that survived the test of time.
This family-operated brewery also boasts of very good customer service, no wonder they lasted in the business for more than a century. Customer reviews showed only positive comments. This beer can also be used in cake sauces because of its high fructose content.
This traditional ginger beer has just the right amount of spiciness from the ginger that lingers well in the throat without being too irritating. You can really enjoy this drink on its own but it works very well to counter the bitterness in vodka with just the right sweetness. This one got good reviews on flavor, however, the bottle presents an issue during the shipping as it is prone to breakage if not properly packed.
This ginger beer has just the right sweetness and spiciness coming from three gingers imported just for the purpose of brewing this ginger beer. The ginger imported from Cochin, India gives the ginger beer a chocolatey flavor. The fresh green ginger from the Ivory Coast is added for freshness. The ginger from Nigeria gives this ginger beer an intense flavor. Together, these three gingers are crushed to extract the oils that give Fever-Tree Ginger Beer its characteristic flavor and aroma.
This is a perfect ingredient to balance the taste of the Smirnoff vodka, the vodka of choice to keep it authentic. It is on the sweet side with 20g of carbohydrates per 200ml of ginger beer, 18 of which are from sugar. The calories in this ginger beer comes only from carbohydrates, packing 80 calories per 200ml serving.
Beers that undergo double distillation are less cloudy and are more flavorful. Bundaberg ginger beer went through double distillation and aging process so only the best products make it to the market.
The seriously guarded recipe had been passed from generation to generation and even their raw ingredients are sourced within the farms operated by the family. This is guaranteed to be gluten-free since the starches come from the ginger, grown in fertile lands of the family’s farms.
The ground ginger is then dried and ground into a coarse flour before cane sugar and water is added to it where the first stage of fermentation happens.
The next process is fermentation using a special yeast to ferment the partially fermented ginger-sugar mixture. The resulting concentrate is then filtered and matured to complete the fermentation process. After the maturation, the concentrate is diluted and filtered for packaging. This very exacting process is what ensures that each bottle of Bundaberg Ginger Beer arrives in your homes in the tiptop condition.
For those looking for extra, Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer gives it to you. To add more “kick” instead of just the fresh ginger used in the classic Brooklyn Crafted GB, it also contains ginger extract. You can actually taste the ginger in each can or bottle of this GB. Reviews claimed that this is the spiciest they have tasted.
It also boasts of all-natural ingredients and is vegan and Orthodox Union Kosher certified. OU certification is the most trusted kosher certifying agency in the US. It is non-alcoholic and can be drunk alone or used as a cocktail mixer.
The gingers used in Reed’s Ginger Beer are imported from Peru, farmed in the Amazon rainforest. Peruvian ginger are known to be spicier than the ginger from other countries. Made with natural ingredients including the pineapple and lemon-lime concentrates, sweetened with cane sugar and honey. No added preservatives, no artificial flavors and GMO-sourced ingredients. This one, classified as a soda, has twice the amount of ginger as that used in the classic Reed’s GB.
The company had stayed true to their tradition of producing Jamaican-style ginger beer in small batches to keep the quality at its best since 1987.
Reviews claimed that it settles upset stomach and can be taken by people undergoing chemotherapy. Negative reviews are more on the price, claiming it was expensive. Given the small batches produced, it’s understandable that the company should offset the expense, rather than sacrificing the quality.
Maine Root Spicy Ginger Beer is made with all-natural ingredients starting with the Fair Trade-certified organic cane sugar from Brazil. Workers in Fair Trade-certified companies get premium salaries and have better working conditions than those who are not.
This non-alcoholic, caffeine-free soda is made with carbonated pure water, organic cane sugar and spices like anise, aside from the ginger. Each bottle is made gluten-free, suitable for vegans and guaranteed no soy, nuts, eggs, dairy and seafood so people with allergies and other dietary restrictions are welcome to try this ginger beer.
Weight-watching? No problem. This zero-calorie, zero-sugar and zero-sweetener soda is sweetened with Stevia. It is also good to drink on its own or used as a cocktail mixer due to its mild carbonation and slightly citrusy flavor. This is the company’s answer to lower sugar intake without sacrificing taste and fun. Perfect for keto and low-carb diets.
Stevia is a naturally sweet herb of the sunflower family hailing from Paraguay. Some of the reviews said that it was way too sweet but it’s a sweetness without the guilt. With lots of sweetness packed in each tiny leaf, stevia is more sustainable compared to farming sugar cane.
What can an apple farm offer you when it comes to fizzy drinks? Obviously, it would be apple juice. That is basically what happened to this ginger beer. Blended with 99% apple juice, each pressed and not coming from some concentrate and 1% ginger extract, this amazing drink gives fizzy a good name. The sweetness of this sparkling beverage comes only from the natural ingredients with no added artificial sweeteners and sugars. It does not contain any food coloring and preservatives. Mild carbonation is added for that classic fizz.
The process is so simple that the company decided to put everything on the can. What you see is what you do get. Reviews are mostly positive because seriously, who will give a negative comment to a product this good? Every material used in the packaging is also recyclable so you don’t get too guilty each time you drink this.
Enjoy the superior quality of this ginger beer backed with a century-old craftsmanship. After more than a century, Fentiman’s continues to carry on the tradition of making the best quality products. Time is of essence for each brew produced by Fentiman’s, from the extraction of the botanical flavors, here, using ginger.
Made with only all-natural ingredients, this ginger beer is brewed using the time-tested methods and flavored with organic beet sugar and other botanicals. It is then mixed with pure water before the addition of carbonation.
If you’re into something extra spicy, this beer’s definitely for you. Made with authentic Jamaican ginger root, it packs an extra fire that is balanced instead of irritating. This is good enough for those with gluten intolerance as the starches used in the fermentation process come from the ginger instead of the standard cereals.
Old Jamaican Ginger Beer does not have any animal products or substances derived from animals so it is very suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This is non-alcoholic but is packed with flavor from the ginger and the sugar added. It contains food colorings evaluated and screened by the European Food Safety Authority and each product is properly labeled so nothing is amiss for the customers.
This is the ginger beer used to make the first Moscow Mule and it just makes sense to include it in this list.
Ginger beer was developed in England but it didn’t stop Americans from craving it. However, John Morgan, also known as Jack to his friends found it difficult to import the ginger beer and instead decided to brew his own in 1946 and started serving it in his restaurant named Cock ’n Bull.
Although it is named beer, it is actually a soda and carries the tagline “The extra ginger soft drink”. It is designed to be drunk as a premium soda or a cocktail mixer. It is caffeine free and uses only natural ingredients.
Powell and Mahoney Blood Orange Ginger Beer belongs to the sparkling cocktail mixers of the company. It is non-alcoholic and is considered a soda but is not recommended for drinking on its own because of its high carbonation. It pairs well with bourbon , whiskey and vodka, the latter being one of the ingredients in the classic cocktail for ginger beers, the Moscow Mule.
Each 340 ml can pack 29 grams of calories, 27 of which comes from cane sugar. Aside from the ginger extract, it has added capsicum which adds to the spiciness of this ginger beer, balanced by the addition of the blood orange concentrate added to this manufactured ginger beer. In contrast with the other ginger beers, this one did not undergo fermentation.
Stolichnaya is known as a producer of world-class vodka. The Stoli ginger beer, introduced in 2014, is the latest addition to their long list of vodkas so it can complement their own liquor when making the famous Moscow Mule.
This is a non-alcoholic ginger beer made with pure cane sugar, however, some who were more familiar with the spicier ginger beer finds this too tame for their taste. The other issue is the price; it is pricier than other ginger beers.
Made with the authentic Jamaican recipe using dry ginger root extract as natural flavoring, earning for itself the reputation as the most intense ginger beer on the market. Aside from the classic Moscow Mule, it can also be used to create the Dark and Stormy cocktail using dark rum or mix it with regular beer for a shandy or the non-alcoholic Seven Roses made with graoefruit juice and limoncello elixir.
Ginger Beer Brands with Issues
This non-alcoholic ginger beer is a good choice to enjoy a Moscow Mule without the additional alcohol from the ginger beer. Because it was not fermented, it does not have the characteristic bitterness of most ginger beers. It also contains high fructose sugar and sulfites that may present problems to those with allergic reactions to these compounds.
Clients claimed it is sweeter than most ginger beers they have tried and does not have enough spiciness of the ginger. So, if you are looking for something spicier, better stay clear from this. It’s good enough to drink straight, though, so it’s a plus since it is really classified as a soda rather than as a beer.
Issue: Not recommended for Moscow MuleIssue: Way too many critical reviews. We hope this will change
The earthy flavor of this ginger beer seems to be a turn off to the clients, saying they would rather pick another ginger beer than this one. Claimed to help stabilize the stomach action, the ginger and the carbonation has an actual good effect to the stomach. This GB has probably the worst reviews on this list.
Issue: Contains cannabinoid extract that others many not still aware of
A cannabinoid ginger beer, cb delight ginger beer can be drunk on its own or added as a cocktail mixer. In Dec 20, 2018, the Farm Bill of 2018 passed the law removing hemp from the controlled substances and reassigning it as an agricultural commodity.
This ginger beer contains 20mg of phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil but there is no need to fear when drinking this ginger beer. The cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive, meaning you will not get high in drinking this. In the lab tests conducted to support the non-psychoactive claims of the company, there is no reported THC or the psychoactive component of the hemp.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The difference is in how they are made. Ginger beer is brewed while ginger ale is made with carbonated water and flavored with ginger.
Ginger beer is called such because of the fermentation process similar to brewing beer. However, instead of cereal starch, ginger beer uses starch from the ginger itself and is not flavored with hops. While there are ginger beers that have an ABV of 2-3, most ginger beers are classified as soda or soft drinks.
Ginger beer plant (GBP) is a composite of a fungus and a bacteria that forms a cluster that moves around the container or jar. Using brewer’s yeast to ferment your ginger beer does the job but not as good as authentic GBP.
Brewed ginger beer has less than 0.5% alcohol and is considered non-alcoholic. So, don’t be misled by the term. Non-alcoholic does not mean it has 0 alcohol, rather it is below the alcoholic threshold of more than 0.5% - 3% ABV, depending on the state.
Non-alcoholic ginger beer is good for you as it packs lots of ginger which was shown to have a myriad of benefits. It promotes digestion, relieves nausea, reduces pain and inflammations and reduces cholesterol which may eventually lead to blood clotting and stroke. However, do not overdo it since it may also worsen acid reflux symptoms, cause diarrhea and may interfere with medications against blood clotting and gallstones.
Ginger beers are made in the past for medicinal purposes, owing to the properties of ginger that helps in relieving loss of appetite, motion sickness, nausea, and painful joints. However, as in any other kind of food or drink, overdoing always has negative effects.
Homemade Ginger Beer
It is easy to make homemade ginger beer. If it interests you so much, check out for some tips here.
Moscow Mule RecipesHere are also Moscow Mule recipes you might want to try.