Ginger beer can be mixed with all kinds of spirits: here are some tasting tips and our list of the top three brands in the world.

Ginger beer can be mixed with all kinds of spirits––gin, tequila, grappa, bitters and vermouth––obtaining fresh and spicy drinks. Here are some tips by bartenders Cinzia Ferro, Solomiya Grytsyshyn and Julian Biondi.

9 tips for tasting ginger beers

– Straight up, with or without ice, mint leaves and a lime wedge

– To make Moscow Mule with the help of vodka and lime

– In London Mule, the British version of the Moscow Mule with gin instead of vodka

– In a spicier version of Chilcano, refreshing drink traditional of Peru, made with Pisco and ginger ale

– For a stormier Dark ‘n’ Stormy, typical of Bermuda made with Black Rum Gosling’s: “dark” rum on top, “stormy” ginger beer below

– In the “Bi.bit.one” made at Chorus Café in Rome with crushed ginger root, agave syrup and 3 types of citrus (lime, lemon and yuzu) served with lots of ice, perfect on very hot days; also great with vodka

– Instead of club soda in Americano (bitter, red Vermouth, club soda, orange slice), also personalized with a tonka bean

– As topping in any “Collins” (Tom or John)

– In the Oste-mule, drink prepared at Estremadura Café in Verbania, made with pop-corn, grappa, ginger beer and bubbles

The 3 best ginger beers

1 Fever-Tree Ginger beer

Sophisticated and immediate, this ginger beer brings everyone together, fine palates and bartenders alike. Like all premium soft drinks of the brand (distributed in Italy by Velier), it’s produced with carbonated spring water and natural flavours, in this case a blend of three types of ginger from Nigeria, Cochin in India and Ivory Coast (in addition to sugar, tartaric acid and ascorbic acid). True appearance, pale straw-colored and opalescent, it’s an expressive ginger beer, of great complexity and character, with clear, strong and precise olfactory and aromatic sensations, the right effervescence, a fresh and decisive citrus push and a lively spice intensity typical of ginger juice, well harmonized sweetness, pleasant echoes of iodine, vegetable, fruity and resinous. Excellent persistence, dry and defined finish.

London – UK
186-188 Shepherds Bush Road
+44(0)02073494922
fever-tree.com

glass bottle 200 ml price 1,40/2 euro

2 Aqua Monaco Hot Ginger

A classy and full of personality ginger beer, produced in Munich with local mineral water and cold-pressed ginger root (plus sugar, lemon juice, citric acid and acacia gum as a stabilizer) distributed by Pretzhof Selection. Dark bottle, AQ in large type and a black swan as their logo, the Hot Ginger of the Bavarian maison (orange label) stands out from its sister Organic for the more intense spicy strength. Cloudy and yellowish, adequate perlage, precise and very clean nose, lively citrus notes, crisp and sharp fresh ginger, essential and dry taste of excellent balance with mild sweetness and small acidic counterpoint, good evolution in the mouth that reaches a beautiful finish without hesitation; it closes a little wild and honeyed. Very good to drink, versatile for mixing.

Munich – Germany
Breisacher Strasse, 3
+49(0)8989083690
aquamonaco.com

glass bottle 230 ml price 1,90/2,60 euro

3 Abbondio Ginger Splash Beer
There’s an Italian brand on the podium as well, the award-winning factory founded in 1889 by Angelo Abbondio, today is a brand acquired by Eurofood. Its non-alcoholic beverages, produced by Fava in Mariano Comense and distributed by the D&C group are famous for the charming Fifties pin-ups on their labels, and, for some time, with old style tattoos in the Tattoos line. Ginger beer (sugar, lime juice, natural flavours, ginger extract, ascorbic acid, salt, barley malt extract) embodies the concept of botanicals. Scents and aromas recall many things: lemon and lime (rind, pith, juice), balsamic wood, undergrowth, licorice, celery, apple, berries, pepper, fresh cardamom. Harmonious taste with balanced sugars and small bitter edge, spiciness from beginning to end but not invasive. Elegant persistence, clean mouth. Especially good to enjoy absolute.

Corsico (MI)
via Privata Tacito, 12
02448761 – eurofood.it

glass bottle 220 ml price 1,30 euro

The tasting panel was attended by:

Julian Biondi, beverage consultant for BarOmeter and barman at Mad Souls & Spirits in Florence

Solomiya Grytsyshyn, barlady at Chorus Café in Rome

Cinzia Ferro, barlady, owner of Estremadura Café and Antica Osteria Il Monte Rosso in Verbania, and bar manager of Lounge Bar di Piano35 in Turin

Mara Nocilla, Gambero Rosso journalist

Paolo Trimani, owner of Enoteca Trimani in Rome

by Mara Nocilla