Ginger Ale Taste Test

Ginger ale (not to be confused with ginger beer) is a carbonated soft drink usually chosen as an alternate soda to consume over the standard cola, due to it being caffeine-free. For those of us not allowed to have caffeine, they can be a life saver! Lemon-lime sodas also fall into this category, but as much as I enjoy Sprite (et al), ginger ale just has a different, more pleasing taste and is often my preference when both are available. But which one is best?

Well, that’s really a matter of personal taste, but just out of curiosity I decided to try the three most popular brands and see what, if anything, made them different and/or better than the others. The only thing that was truly similar between these three sodas (besides all of them using green in the label and bottle) is the amount of ginger in it – it’s in there, but it’s most definitely muted. I’ve used ginger in cooking and have drunk ginger beer, so I’m familiar with the spicy taste of it, but here it’s really ginger-flavored soda water; definitely a tastier thirst-quencher on a hot summer day than regular water. Try a ginger beer or a golden style ginger ale (read: can be hard to find) and you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, here are the results:

(Note: Much like my Chocolate Taste Test from a few years ago, I also had saltine crackers and water at the ready, to cleanse the palette after each tasting.)

The three ginger ales most readily available on the market.
The three ginger ales most readily available on the market.

Canada Dry

Canada Dry

230 calories per 20-oz bottle

Made by Dr Pepper/Snapple


This soda has an extremely pale yellow color, and a distinctly dry aftertaste.

Schweppes

Schweppes

210 calories per 20-oz bottle

Made by Dr Pepper/Snapple


WAY bubblier! There is clearly a LOT more carbonation in this soda, which is a pale yellow color. It is also extremely tart, and the ginger flavor is more obvious.

Seagram's

Seagram’s

160 calories per 20-oz bottle

Made by Coca-Cola


The most yellow-colored soda of the three, this is tart yet bubbly. It does not have nearly as much carbonation as Schweppes, but it also has a lightly dry aftertaste. This is kind of a weird combination, but it works really well, making it the most refreshing of the three.

The final result?

Obviously, I quite liked Seagram’s ginger ale, but everyone has their own preference. It was interesting trying these out; I don’t normally see these kinds of comparisons. Perhaps there are others out there that are better?

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