Ginger ale has been around for more than 170 years and was originally invented in Ireland. If you’ve ever wondered- how is ginger ale good for upset stomach pain, or is ginger ale caffeine-free, you’re in the right place. But to be more specific, is ginger ale gluten free? Find out the answers to these perplexing questions and more.
Is ginger ale gluten free?
The original mixtures of ginger ale that sprung up around England and Ireland began as ginger beer. These alcoholic concoctions were all brewed using sugar, lemon juice, fresh ginger root, and ginger beer plant culture called Lactobacillus. It would produce a beer-like beverage that would even form a foamy top when poured into a glass. The original ginger beer contained a whopping 11% alcohol by volume!
Although ginger beer goes through a fermentation process to create alcohol, it contained no gluten. So by the time ginger ale was created, it only contained water, ginger root flavoring, and some molasses. Even the darker original ginger ales did not contain gluten. By the time a pharmacist John J. McLaughlin started playing around with ginger ale recipes, he was the first to create Belfast-style ginger ale in 1890.
John was also a chemist and discovered he could ditch the molasses in 1904 and start to use refined sugar to lighten his ginger ale recipe. He also added a generous amount of carbonation which made it bubbly with a drier aftertaste. By 1907, he patented his recipe and called it Canada Dry Ginger Ale. This gluten-free recipe was the perfect drink mixer that created Bathtub Gin (Gin-ger ale) which was wildly popular during the Prohibition era.
Is ginger ale good for upset stomach?
While many people still believe that Saltine crackers and ginger ale are perfect for settling an upset stomach, ginger ale soda literally does nothing to help. The medicinal properties of fresh ginger root have a strong link to helping relieve stomach pain, nausea, and even vomiting symptoms. This is easily resolved by grating ginger root into hot water just like tea and sweetened with honey. The active ingredients in the ginger root will take effect quickly.
By drinking carbonated ginger ale, you risk having more gas in your stomach than before. In addition to all the sugar in most ginger ale brands, this might help after vomiting. Since many home remedies call for fast-absorbing sugar within your stomach to replace the contents that have been lost. Plus, the water in ginger ale will help with preventing dehydration. But that’s about all there is to this overused medical myth.
Is ginger ale bad for you?
In general, all soft drinks can be bad for you because of their sugar content. Ginger ale contains between 32 to 35 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. Compare this with sugary sodas including Coca-Cola or Pepsi containing 39 to 41 grams of sugar in the same sized can. Aside from the sugar content, it will still rot your teeth just as much as colas would, due to the high sugar content.
Ginger ale is not specifically bad for you if you drink a glass of ginger ale in moderation. More than 2 liters of ginger ale per day is considered unhealthy and can be another reason for weight gain, tooth decay, and high blood pressure.
Is ginger ale caffeine free?
As a rule of thumb, ginger ale does not typically contain caffeine at all. These additives are present in other soft drinks such as Coca-cola or Pepsi. Ginger ale is one of the few soft drinks that had stuck with the original recipe since it was invented. So there was never any need to add caffeine to the recipe. Brands like Coke did have cocaine to give an energetic effect but also contained caffeine from the kola nut.
Some smaller brands do make natural versions of ginger ale that contain green tea. The extracts of green tea naturally contain caffeine and would be present in these particular flavors. A perfect example is Canada Dry’s Green Tea Ginger Ale which contains as much as 9 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce can.
Is ginger ale alcoholic?
You will be hard-pressed to find any brand of ginger ale that contains alcohol anymore. Back in the good old days in places like England and Ireland, it was more common to see Ginger Beer with high amounts of alcohol in each cup. Most American beers have significantly reduced levels of alcohol averaging 3.5% by volume. In Europe, this level is 5.5% to 16% depending on the brand. The original ginger beer contained 11% in each cup.
There are selected brands of ginger ale that are intended to be combined with alcohol, but in reality, do not contain any alcohol at all. Ironically, many ginger beer brands now only contain a very small amount of alcohol worth 0.5% by volume. This is essentially the same amount of alcohol that you’ll find in non-alcoholic beer.
Is ginger ale considered soda?
In the beginning, ginger ale contained no soda carbonation at all. This was an innovation that was begun at pharmacy soda fountains back around the turn of the century. Many people completely forget that pharmacies at the turn of the century in America became the blueprint that later became the drugstore soda fountain. These pharmacists were the early kingpins of carbonization and would add carbon dioxide to virtually anything they could sell.
It’s no secret that drugs were involved and typically included cocaine, opium, and various other narcotics. Talk about early American culture, adding narcotics to drinks with plenty of carbonation was certainly living the high life’. When it comes to the question concerning ginger ale being a soda, it certainly is because of the carbon dioxide that’s added. It adds a bubbly sensation that helps to create a dry effect when drinking ginger ale just like dry champagne.
Among all of the ginger ale flavors, Schweppes has a sharper and more pronounced profile that is drier than Canada Dry. All of these brands routinely add carbon dioxide to produce the carbonation that’s needed to become a soda.