Ginger Plant, Zingiberaceae Family
Apr 24 2020 / Richard Thompson

Gin and Ginger Ale…The Love Affair

Gin and Ginger… a 21st Century fairy tale.

Once upon a time in China and India, discovery of ginger as a tropical plant in the Middle Ages completely transformed the drinks world!

China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria continue to dominate the production of ginger. As a herbaceous perennial, ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family (including other common spices found in gin production, such as cardamom and galangal).

Growing a remarkable one-meter in height with narrow leafy stems, the plant produces bunches of radiant white and pink flower buds, which bloom into enticing yellow flowers.

As it is what is on the inside that counts, right? Ginger is said to have been used as a tonic root to treat medical conditions and ailments for thousands of years. Candied, crystallised, dried, fresh, ground, powdered, ginger is a versatile and loveable spice!

Harvested Ginger Root

Recently Harvested Ginger Root in India

On to the good bit…drinking it! Ginger beer was brewed and born in the Victorian era in Yorkshire (England).

Invented by Canadian pharmacist John McLaughlin in 1907, whilst on a mission to produce “The Champagne of Ginger Ales”.

Opening a carbonated water plant in Toronto, John began producing McLaughlin Belfast Style Ginger Ale in 1890. Following a successful launch, John decided to improve the recipe by darkening the colour and enhancing the sharp taste – born was the “Canada Dry” Pale Ginger Ale, trademark registered on May 16th 1922.

So, are gin and ginger ale a winning combination? Yes!

Let us look at the attractive résumé the spice has to offer:

  • Ginger has been used as a flavouring agent for thousands of years in confectionary and beers,
  • Exotic aroma due to the subtle hints of sweetness and pepper, creating a vibrant attitude,
  • As a soft drink or a mixer for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, ginger can be consumed endless ways,
  • Forms the foundation for drinks such as ginger ale, beer and cocktails such as Gin Buck and Sing’s Ginger Brew,
  • Vermouths, bitters and herbal liqueurs can also be found to contain this ancient spice.

Ginger root is also a common botanical used in gin production, due to its familiar and bold scent. In gin production, the spice imparts a sweet, peppery flavour with a delicate touch of warmth and freshness to the spirit.

In short, Gin-ger really is a match made in heaven!


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