If you’re looking for a good ginger ale to settle your stomach, reduce motion sickness, or provide the other health benefits of ginger, you’re probably looking for a ginger ale with actual ginger in it.
But do any of these ales have ginger, or are they flavored with something else?
Which Ginger Ales Have Real Ginger?
Most ginger ales do have at least some small amount of ginger in them. The issue is that the most popular ones that you are able to find at stores have so little ginger that they may as well not have any ginger at all. (From what I was able to find out, at least.)
Most of the common ginger ales distributed by the big bottling companies don’t have ginger listed on the ingredients list (or it’s listed as “Ginger with Other Natural Ingredients”), which means that the soda only contains a small amount of ginger extract. Not enough to get the benefits from ginger, at any rate.
As you’ll see from the below list, the number of ginger ales that have a lot of ginger in them is pretty small. It’s honestly a bit disappointing.
There are some ales that have a significant amount of ginger in them, however. Let’s talk about which ones do and don’t have meaningful amounts of ginger in them.
Canada Dry is probably one of the first names you think about when you think of ginger ale. Once upon a time, Canada Dry may or may not have had a good amount of ginger in it. Unfortunately, that seems to no longer be the case.
From the information available today, it appears that Canada Dry has very little real ginger. Perhaps as little as 2 parts per million, according to information brought forth in a lawsuit. Just because it was alleged in a lawsuit doesn’t mean that it’s true, but the evidence suggests that Canada Dry is not a brand you should reach for if having a lot of ginger in the drink is important to you.
Reed’s Ginger Ale & Beer
Reed’s Ginger Ale is made with real ginger – perhaps the most ginger of any drink on this list if you go for the ginger beer.
For those seeking the taste and benefits of ginger, this may be the best option on the list, if you’re able to find it. The ginger beers on this list have a lot more ginger in them than the ale (none of them have any alcohol), so if you want ginger, they’re the better option to go with.
|Product||How Much Ginger per 12 oz Bottle?|
|Reed’s Ginger Ale||2 Grams (Source)|
|Reed’s Ginger Beer (Original or Premium)||17 Grams (Source)|
|Reed’s Ginger Beer (Extra)||26 Grams (Source)|
|Reed’s Ginger Beer (Stronger)||39 Grams (Source)|
Vernor’s Ginger Ale
As best I was able to find, Vernors Ginger Ale has very little, if any real ginger. Ginger is not listed as an ingredient on the label, meaning that there is likely just a small amount of ginger extract hiding in the “natrual ingredients” item on the ingredients list.
While it probably has some amount of ginger in the drink, there is no evidence that it has enough ginger to give you any of the benefits of having ginger in the drink. If that matters to you, it’s probably best to choose one of the other drinks on this list.
Like Canada Dry and Vernors, Schweppes doesn’t mention ginger as an ingredient on the ingredients list. They do mention on their website that their ginger ale has real ginger in it, so it’s likely just using a ginger extract that’s hidden under “natural flavors”.
On a side note, they seem to use the same basic ingredients as Canada Dry and Vernor’s, that being a combination of ginger extract and citrus oils, so it’s possible they’re just using different variations of the same “natrual flavors” to give each drink a slightly different taste.
Seagram’s Ginger Ale
Seagrams Ginger Ale is listed (on some packages) as being made with real ginger. Its ingredients list includes “Ginger Extract with Other Natural Flavors”, but it’s not clear that this is materially different from any of the other ginger sodas so far on the list (excluding reeds) that just includes a small amount of ginger extract that isn’t enough to get any of the benefits of ginger.
I can’t say for sure that it doesn’t have more ginger than the other options, but so far Reed’s is the only item on this list that appears to have a lot of ginger in it.
Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale
Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale is a brand that’s owned by Pepsi. Like a lot of the other ginger sodas on this list, it’s unclear whether there is any actual ginger in this drink. If there is any, it is most likely a small amount of ginger extract hidden under natural flavors.
Blue Sky Ginger Ale
Blue Sky Ginger Ale is another ginger ‘ale’ that makes it unclear how much actual ginger is in the soda. I don’t see any claims that there is any real ginger in this soda, but it is likely that they use the same ginger extract that the other sodas are using, so technically there is at least some real ginger in this drink.
If you’re starting to get a bit black pilled about ginger ales no longer having ginger as one of their main ingredients, the next few items should give you a bit of hope.
Brooklyn Crafted Classic Ginger Ale
Brooklyn Crafted Classic Ginger Ale is one of the few stand-out drinks on this list.
While it’s unclear how much ginger exactly is in this drink, there is definitely real ginger, as indicated on the ingredients list. One of their selling points is that it is unfiltered so that you can see the ginger in the drink.
Their normal ginger ale only has 4 ingredients, which is a nice change from the normal ginger sodas you are able to find. With their extra spicy option, they add ginger extract in addition to the ginger that is in the normal one.
They advertise (on some sites) that there is “one unfiltered ginger shot” in every bottle, but that doesn’t make it clear exactly how much ginger went into the ginger shot. Based on the fact that it’s listed before Citric Acid as an ingredient, it’s likely to have at least 1.3 grams (based on how much citric acid is usually in sodas on average) – probably quite a bit more.
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is another option for those of us that aren’t happy settling for just ginger extract in a drink that bills itself as being a ginger based drink. Bruce Cost uses real ginger in their drink and lists it in their ingredients list.
Their ginger ale, like brooklyn craften, only has 4 ingredients. They say that the difference between their ale and their beer (neither contain alcohol) is that the beer has ginger extract added in addition to the normal ginger.
Cape Cod Ginger Ale
Cape Cod Ginger Ale is a 5-ingredient ginger ale that is definitely made with real ginger and isn’t embarrassed to brag about it. Unlike almost any other ginger ale on this list, ginger is actually the second ingredient (behind water).
Because of this – while they don’t say exactly how much ginger is in each bottle – it’s safe to say it’s north of 14 grams. We know this because there is only 14 grams of sugar in the drink (a lot less than the other non-diet options), and sugar is the third ingredient in the list.
Polar Ginger Ale
Polar ginger ale is another one of the ales that advertises “natural ginger” on the front of the bottle. Unfortunately – like some of the other mass market ginger sodas on this list, ginger didn’t make it to the ingredients list.
Likely what this means is that they’re using ginger extract and that there isn’t a great deal of ginger in the drink. (Not enough to get health benefits from, anyway.) That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good drink, just that if you’re concerned with ginger content there are better options.
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale is another ale on the list that uses real ginger – at least in some capacity – but how much ginger is in the drink is in question.
Based on the average amount of citric acid in soda, we can assume that there is probably less than 1.3 grams of ginger, and possibly a lot less than that. There is no way to tell for sure, though, as the company themselves don’t volunteer the information.
Do Ginger Ales or Ginger Beers Have More Ginger?
For most of the brands I was able to find, ginger beers have more ginger in them than ales. In some cases, up to 19x more ginger. Neither ales nor beers have any alcohol in them from the bottle. The only difference is the amount of ginger and the amount of extract or other spices in the drink.
That is to say that the ginger beer will typically have more bite than the regular ginger ale.
Most ginger ales do have at least a small amount of ginger in them. The issue is that most of them only have a very small amount of ginger. Not enough to provide the benefits of ginger.
If you’re looking for a drink with a lot of ginger, you’re likely to get the most ginger out of one of the Reed’s Ginger Beers or the Cape Cod Ginger Ale. These are the drinks I could find that are likely to have the most ginger.