Ginger Up

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ginger beer and ginger ale?

It all began with ginger beer originating in Yorkshire, England in the 18th century. It once contained a small amount of alcohol, unlike its present day predecessor, which is brewed as a soft drink. Ginger ale was created later in the 1900’s. A lighter drink that gained popularity in England, Canada and the US, and has been used as a remedy to settle stomach upsets.

The difference between the two beverages; Ginger beer is actually brewed and fermented while ginger ale is essentially a carbonated beverage made from water and ginger. The fermentation of the ginger beer gives it a stronger flavor with less carbonation.

I acquired a sample of CRAFT Spicy Ginger Beer, while it has enough flavor to stand on its own I used it to mix a few tasty cocktails.

If you love ginger beer you’ll love CRAFT and these recipes!

imageDark and Stormy
1/4 lime
2 oz dark rum
10 oz ginger beer

Squeeze the lime over ice, drop it into the ice filled glass. Add rum, top with ginger beer.


Moscow Mule
1.5 oz vodka
3 oz ginger beer
1 bar spoon simple syrup
lime juice to taste.

Mix vodka, simple syrup and lime juice in shaker. Pour over crushed ice, top off with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime.

imageGinger Shandy
Grab a big frosted mug or glass.
Fill 3/4 ale or lager
top with ginger beer
add a wedge of lemon.


You Don’t Know Jack

The crispness in the night air and the abundance of apples at the farm market are what inspired me to make a Jack Rose.

There is some speculation on how the drink got its colorful name. The most believable is from the Applejack liquor and the rose color of the cocktail. Nicknamed “Jersey Lightening” Applejack is our countries original whiskey. It’s a hard apple cider that was commonly made in colonial America, specifically in New Jersey (one of the greatest states ever!).


Although the schools did not include Applejack production in the education of our states history; I found some interesting facts.  For instance, in the late 1780’s Applejack was used as currency to pay state workers for building roads, whatever wasn’t consumed could be used to barter for goods. Applejack was also supplied to troops during the Revolutionary War, brrrrrrr, it was a long cold winter, crossing the Delaware and all. At one point George Washington requested the recipe from the Laird family, producers of the liquor. An apple rich state, New Jersey had more than 400 small, farm-based Applejack distilleries, Laird’s is now the only one still in operation.

Even though the cocktail was created in the late 1800’s at Harvey’s Oyster Saloon in Washington D.C., it didn’t gain popularity until the 1920’s. It’s named as one of the six basic cocktails in David A. Embury’s “Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”, the Jack Rose is probably the least known but equally as delicious.

Sometimes difficult to find, Applejack is available on-line.

Sometimes difficult to find, Applejack is available on-line.


The Jack Rose Cocktail

This recipe serves 1, and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.

2 ounces applejack (apple brandy)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ ounce grenadine
lime wedge or apple slice for garnish

Place all ingredients (except for garnish) in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is frosted and the drink is thoroughly chilled (about 20 seconds).
Strain the contents of the shaker into a cocktail glass, preferably one that’s been chilled. Garnish with a lime slice or apple wedge if you wish, and serve.



It’s Pimm’s O’Clock

A refreshing summer drink, the Pimm’s Cup has been around since the mid 19th century.  James Pimm owner of an Oyster Bar in London created the Pimms House Cup around 1840. Served in pewter tankards the cocktail was a combination of herbs, fruits and gin and sold as a digestif. The House Cup later became Pimm’s Cup No. 1.

There became 7 variations of the Pimm’s Cup, only differing by the base liquor. Only the vodka cup and brandy cup (now called Winter) remain in production with the original No. 1 cup still the most popular.

No. 2 Scotch Whiskey
No. 3 Brandy with the added flavors of orange and spice.
No. 4 Rum
No. 5 Rye Whiskey
No. 6 Vodka
No.  7 is pretty much “anything goes” from Absinthe to Tequila


Thanks to clever marketing, this British sensation is easy to find all over the world.



TAC’s Pimm Cup
2 oz Pimms
1 oz Domaine De Canton
1/2 oz lemon juice
Club soda to top.

Fill a shaker with ice add Pimms, Domaine De Canton and lemon juice, give it a few good shakes.  Pour into a tall ice filled glass, top with club soda and garnish with lemon and cucumber.


Traditional Pimm’s Cup
1.5 oz Pimm’s No. 1
Fresh Cucumber slice
*Top with Lemon lime soda or ginger ale.
Garnish with mint leaves, strawberry, orange and cucumber slices.

Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice, add Pimm’s. Top with soda, add fruit, garnish with a cucumber.

*We replaced the ginger ale with ginger beer and a squeeze of lemon. This is a fun cocktail to play with, so many possibilities!


Pimms for a Gathering
Grab your favorite pitcher, fill with ice and add;
3 parts Lemonade
1 Part Pimm’s
Fresh mint, orange and cucumber slices.
Perfect for summer sipping.