Having polished off 2 Bottles of Barritt’s Ginger Beer that I brought back from Bermuda (along with a Taste for one of their national drinks, the Dark and Stormy – ginger beer, dark rum and lime) I have been looking around for a surrogate (while trying to source some more of the real deal.)
I’ve figured out the proper portions of ingredients, and the proper mixing method, (see previous posts on the subject) but I haven’t figured out what makes ginger beer, ginger beer.
Barritt’s is not like ginger ale, but only seems to differ in having quillaia extract (a type of bark, methinks) and uses sugar cane rather than corn syrup (much better to do it old-school with the sugar cane in my book). That, and it’s made in Bermuda by Bermudians. Which is something any “local” rum cannot claim.
When I asked around on the cruise ship what to use, they all said to use root beer (presumably, they already knew how hard a time I would have, and knew that Schweppes or Canada Dry just wouldn’t cut it… so after milking those 2 precious liters for as long as I could… off to the natural food store I went.
First attempt – Boylans Ginger Ale (yes an ale is not a beer)… but this was made with sugar rather than HFSC, so worthy of consideration… just not worthy of the drink. Kinda bland. Neither dark, nor stormy.
Second attempt – Stewarts Ginger Beer, has the precious quillaia, but unf. has the non-beloved HFCS. Closer to what I’d hoped for… and spicyier. Nice, but a little too much with the spice. My wife tried (and liked) this one, It didn’t leave me wanting another – perhaps I should try this again with food, alone it was too spicy.
I tried a third with the Polar Old Fashioned Ginger Ale – which follows an old Irish recipe. (remembering that ginger beers are reported to only come from Bermuda, New England (somebody please tell me where) and the UK, this might be a good option…. nope.
The Stewarts was the best, but not close enough for my taste, even tried tempering the spiciness by combining the old fashined gingerale…
If I can’t get anymore Barritt’s, maybe rootbeer wasn’t such a bad suggestion afterall?