Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Island Life in a bottle: Applachian Ginger Beer

With the summer in full force, the heat is on here in the Mid-Atlantic. A recent heat wave with four days of 100 degrees or more. Temperatures are up in the high 80's and 90's with lots of sun and humidity. Beer is always a great choice as a summer refresher, but I always enjoy another type of beer as well, and that is ginger beer. Ginger beer at one time was fermented and brewed but much like ginger ale is now a soft drink. Gourmet examples of ginger beer and ginger ale exist, and many brewpubs and breweries actually produce gourmet sodas, with either a ginger ale or ginger beer in their line up. Ginger beer has much stronger and bolder ginger aromas and flavors than most ginger ales.

The Appalachian Brewing Company of Harrisburg, PA brews up an outstanding Ginger Beer. This gourmet soda is made with crystal clear Appalachian water, pure cane sugar, and fresh ginger. I can not stress enough how use of fresh ginger makes all the difference in the world. You really get the pungent and spicy ginger aromas and flavors, and it makes for a spicy, delicious, refreshing drink. People who have not had fresh ginger are often shocked how spicy and hot fresh ginger can taste.

ABC Ginger Beer pours to an opaque pale color with lots of big spicy ginger aromas and flavors. This is a wonderful, refreshing drink to slake the thirst in hot summer months, and is the perfect soft drink to mix with rum. One of my all time favorite drinks is a Dark N' Stormy which became popular in the sailing communities up and down the East Coast of the U.S. from Portland, ME to Annapolis, MD. I have been drinking them for years, and the key to a good Dark 'N Stormy is not only a good quality rum, but a quality ginger beer.

When I lived in RI, I could always get a good Dark N' Stormy. I'm happy to say I can make my own. ABC Ginger Beer is a fantastic ginger beer to mix with a good quality dark rum to make a great Dark 'N Stormy. So simple, yet so good:

1.5 oz of a good quality dark rum

8 oz ginger beer
1 lime wedge

In a high ball glass with ice pour 1.5 oz of dark rum. Top with ginger beer. Squeeze in lime and drop in glass.

Enjoy one of the most delicious, refreshing, summer drinks you will ever taste! I would always go with Gosling's Black Seal a phenomenal rum from Bermuda. A great quality domestic micro distilled rum like Thomas Tews or Rogue Dark Rum would be a great choice as well.

For more information about getting some ABC Ginger Beer visit the brewery's site at:

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