Ginger Beers Worthy of the Moscow Mule
Armed with a classy copper mug, your favorite vodka, and fresh limes, you’re ready to select that vital ingredient that gives the Moscow Mule its signature kick: ginger beer. The slightly spicy, bold flavor and bubbly, fizz-in-your-mouth texture of ginger beer adds a special something to many cocktails, including the Moscow Mule and the Dark and Stormy, or can even be enjoyed on its own. While Moscow Mules can be made with any type of ginger beer, from the alcoholic to the non-alcoholic varieties, this classic drink deserves to be paired with the best ginger beer on the market—the type of ginger beer that turns a tasty cocktail into a refreshing experience.
Ginger has been used widely since 500 BC for flavoring food and drinks and as a medicine, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that ginger beer was first brewed. Popular as both a soft drink and an alcoholic beverage, ginger beer has recently been growing in popularity, aided by the rising star of the Moscow Mule. While you can also use ginger ale in a Moscow Mule in a jam, ginger beer has a much stronger taste, a cloudy appearance, and a fuller texture, making it the preferred companion for this favorite cocktail.
The quality, taste, and ingredients of ginger beer vary widely. While some are crafted from a number of different ginger roots that lend the ginger beer a complex and full taste, others rely on an overdose of sugar to deliver flavor. Ginger beers can be sweeter, spicier, or watered-down. While they are still tasty as a stand-alone, some ginger beers simply don’t have enough spice to deliver that bold, zesty ginger punch amidst the other strong and potent ingredients of mixed drinks.
Find your new favorite ginger beer with our definitive guide to the best ginger beers to complete your Moscow Mule.
Our Favorite Brands of Ginger Beer: A Comparison
Q Ginger Beer—Q adds coriander, cardamom, and lime to its delicious brew, helping to bring out the ginger’s freshness and unique spice palate. Q is specifically designed to have a bold, zesty taste that won’t be diluted by adding it to vodka or gin, making it the perfect cocktail companion.
Barritt’s—Barritt’s has been making ginger beer in the Caribbean since 1874 so this company really knows what it’s doing. It doesn’t rely on any artificial sweeteners, and only uses pure cane sugar in its product.
Fever-Tree—Fever Tree’s bold combination of gingers from Nigeria, Kochi, and the Ivory Coast provide this ginger beer with a powerful bite. It’s not too sweet and its authentic ingredients give it a tasty, lingering gingery aftertaste.
Gosling’s—Gosling’s ginger beer is sweeter than average (it contains high-fructose corn syrup), but its low price makes this drink the perfect mixer for large parties. Even better, Gosling’s makes both regular and diet ginger beer for those who are watching their waistlines.
The Ginger People—More citrusy than most, this pick from the Ginger People means business. Ginger People ginger beer is made from Peruvian ginger juice and the all-natural process allows the authentic flavors of ginger to shine through without all the additives.
Regatta—A slightly tamer ginger beer for those who like the distinct flavor of ginger beer but could do without the heat, Regatta also has notes of citrus, apple, and banana. Regatta is the perfect companion for the salty spray of seaside adventures and boating outings.
Hollows & Fentimans—This alcoholic ginger beer bears a prestigious name and an expensive price tag, but has a truly unique taste. Hollow & Fentimans prides itself on being an all-natural beer that utilizes botanical brewing and slow fermentation to bring out the natural goodness of Chinese ginger root.
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer—While most ginger beer is carbonated with pressurized carbon dioxide, a few brands of ginger beer—such as Crabbie’s—are fermented, giving your Moscow Mule an extra kick. Crabbie’s ginger beer has a delicate taste, delivering the ginger without too much of the heat.
Barr’s—Using an original recipe from 1875, this Scottish ginger beer delivers the fire even while remaining clean and crisp.
River City—Not as fresh-tasting as other options but delicious and spicy nonetheless, River City is an old-fashioned, smooth, and lightly sweet ginger beer with a satisfying burn at the end.
So there you have it: the best ginger beers for your copper-mugged cocktail. Keep in mind that these are just the biggest brands on the international scene. There’s been a recent explosion of new brewers across the world trying their hand at crafting a delicious ginger beer. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out a local, organic, or small-batch ginger beer, or even try to brew your own at home!
Which ginger beer will you be drinking in your summer Moscow Mules?
Want to sport your favorite Ginger beer to the world? Consider getting it engraved on one of our classic mugs