Crabbie’s Ginger Beers

Throw in a slice of lime and you are ready to kick it on the dock. You could also use it as mixer in a really grown-up rye and ginger.

I love ginger ale/beer. I rarely drink soda, but ginger ale is always an exception. I like it so much, I often make it myself, using brewer’s yeast to create a bottle ferment to naturally carbonate the soda. I love it mixed with rye, gin, rum, or more exotic things like Cachaça. I like classic Canada Dry, and cloudy funky spicy Jamaican ginger beers. With me? So when I first saw a bottle of Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer at the LCBO, while looking for ciders for my wife who avoids gluten, I immediately grabbed a few. And they were delicious. It’s now a regular tipple we bring on cottage trips, etc. I should mention, these are not gluten-free, and the ingredients note that they include wheat, though it isn’t listed directly as an ingredient. For folks like Erika who aren’t celiac, it can be a great option, but if you are 100% gluten-free, stick to a great cider, or keep your eyes open for Snowman Brewing, who are at last producing large enough volumes to sell around Toronto!

Crabbie's Ginger Beers

Crabbie’s Ginger Beers

In addition to their classic ginger beer, Edinburgh’s Crabbie’s has now also added a spiced orange and raspberry flavoured version. I actually got bottles of all three, but it appears that the spiced orange version got consumed without me taking notes. If anything, that ought to speak to my enjoyment therein!

Original Ginger Beer

From a 500ml bottle, Original Ginger Beer pours a brilliantly clear deep gold. Aroma is, unsurprisingly, sharp fresh ginger. There is also a touch of cane sugar. Basically exactly what one would expect from a ginger beer. Taste is excellent, a great balance between sugary-sweet and aromatic and hot ginger. It’s not as big and aggressive as a Jamaican-style ginger beer, but it’s got more heat to it than a Schwepps. Defintiely a grown-up ginger beer, not just because of it’s 5% abv. I’m testing it at about 7C, but I know from experience that it’s also quite nice on ice, though both the sweetness and bite get subdued a bit. Throw in a slice of lime and you are ready to kick it on the dock. You could also use it as mixer in a really grown-up rye and ginger.

Raspberry Ginger Beer

Also from a 500ml bottle, Raspberry Ginger Beer pours a vibrant cranberry red. Aroma is mostly raspberries, ginger is there, but is very hidden by the juicy fruitiness of the berries. The taste definitely has a soda-like quality to it. It’s quite sweet, and also hints at concentrated juices. It’s not synthetic-tasting, which is great, but it definitely could use a bit of ice to take the edge off. Crabbie’s provides some cocktail recipes, and suggest doing a Collins with this version, muddling 4 fresh raspberries with 25ml lemon juice, 50ml gin, 20 ml simple syrup (though I would personally omit this), fill they glass with ice (they don’t say it, but 3 over, please) and then fill with raspberry ginger beer.

Buy Crabbie’s Ginger Beers

At the LCBO, province-wide. They will be in the ready-to-drink area, which is often conveniently located adjacent to the beer section.

Drink Them With

Well, lots of different things, really. The original would be equally comfortable with a spicy Szechuan dish, or a fruity glazed grilled piece of pork. Both the orange and raspberry could accompany lighter fare well. And all three can be mixed in different cocktails to suit different situations. Get a few, and play!

About Crabbie’s

The Crabbie’s brand has a deep-rooted heritage, dating back to 1801 when pioneering drink merchant John Crabbie began creating new offerings to sell in his shop. He looked to the Far East to source the best ingredients including the finest ginger and exotic spices.

Wince its exciting arrival in Canada in 2012 with Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, and Spiced Orange last fall, the brand has become known and loved for its fresh, light-bodied and spicy ginger flavour, featuring notes of citrus and warming finish. This summer’s addition, Raspberry, features a new sweet fruit infusion to the original recipe.

One Comment

  1. Richard Marzec
    Posted December 11, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Pretty good for a cooler.

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