Why Ginger Ale Works So Well In Mixed Drinks

The unsung hero of the back bar isn't the miniature tropical drink umbrella: It's ginger ale. Ginger ale is technically a type of soda water, made from a simple combination of ginger, sugar, and carbonation. Like the different liquors with which it's mixed, different ginger ale brands tote unique blends of spices and ingredients that create a unique sweet-spicy flavor profile. These commonly include citric oils, or even capsicum, a type of pepper that majorly amps up the spiciness factor.

What makes ginger ale such a mixology superstar is its diversity. There are two types of ginger ale: Dry and golden. Dry ginger ales are less sweet, more acidic, and spicier, with a mild flavor and punchy mouthfeel. Golden ginger ales are deeper in color, sweeter, more pungent, and less acidic. Popular golden brands include Vernor's, Sussex, and Red Rocks. Canada Dry and Schweppes are dry brands. Similar to Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo tequilas, you can easily customize the depth and flavor of your drink with whichever type of ginger ale you choose.

It's sweet and refreshing enough for summertime sippers, but also spicy enough to transition into fall and winter cocktails during colder months. Plus, unlike cola (which pairs well with whiskey and rum, but not so well with tequila or gin), ginger ale is something of a culinary chameleon and works with pretty much every spirit. Don't believe it? We've rounded up some ideas to help get your bevy brainstorm rolling.

Ginger ale is the mixer to end all mixers

For the rum fans out, ginger ale pairs together miraculously with darker rums. We recommend Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum with ginger ale over ice for a refreshing, mildly sweet libation. And those who love whiskey know that few combos are as widely accepted as ginger ale and whiskey. Order a whiskey highball with a lime wedge; Seagram's 7 and ginger ale is also a classic two-part mixed drink. You could even whip up a batch of Kentucky Lemonade with ginger ale, bourbon, lemonade mix, and fresh mint. This one is great to make in batches for backyard barbecues.

You can't spell ginger ale without "gin," and the Gin Buck and the Ginger Rogers marry both beautifully. For vodka lovers, the obvious choice is a Moscow Mule. Technically the recipe calls for ginger beer, but ginger ale is often used interchangeably depending on what's on hand. And for a really knockout Mule, muddle some fresh blackberries in the bottom of the glass.

Tequila fans, don't despair. Ginger Ale hasn't forgotten about you. The El Diablo cocktail is a combination of ginger ale (or ginger beer), reposado, lime juice, and crème de cassis – and it might change your tequila cocktail game forever.

Plus, with its fizzy mouthfeel and spicy flavor, ginger ale is also an non-alcoholic mixologist's secret weapon. Combine cranberry juice, ginger ale, grenadine, and a Luxardo cherry for a wintry mocktail.