3 Summer Cocktails to Make with Smoky Ginger Ale
Fever-Tree's new smoky, robust ginger ale is the mixer of our dreams.
Sweet and familiar, a touch more sophisticated than Coke or Sprite, ginger ale has obvious merits as a mixer. Its more aggressive cousin, ginger beer, often gets pride of place in cocktails like the Moscow Mule and Dark & Stormy. You don’t always want ginger beer’s sharp spice in a cocktail; on the other hand, ol’ ginger ale can be a little one-note.
That’s why we’re so excited by the Smoky Ginger Ale from Fever-Tree. It takes their ginger ale, already drier and fuller-flavored than many brands, and adds a robust smoky flavor, using smoked applewood to infuse the water base. Spirits and smoke have a natural affinity—mezcal and Scotch are just two that often have a smoky element—and the Smoky Ginger Ale offers a way to add that flavor apart from the spirit itself. (And without a smoker box or any other fancy mixologist gizmos.)
The result: Cocktails that taste awfully sophisticated, despite just having two or three ingredients. It’s summer; why make things more complicated than they need to be? Give these three original drinks a try.
Bourbon & Smoky GInger
Bourbon and ginger are a no-brainer of a pairing. But once you add the smoky ginger ale, the effect is halfway between bourbon and Scotch—not bad for a highball. A dash of Angostura bitters helps add depth and body.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of bourbon with four ounces of smoky ginger ale and a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir briefly and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Vodka & Lemon
Think of this drink like a smoky Moscow Mule, with vodka allowing the ginger, and the smoke, to take center stage. A squeeze of lemon adds welcome brightness. And while the drink certainly doesn’t need it, an edible flower—available with the fresh herbs in plenty of supermarkets—is a quick way to dress this drink up.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of vodka with four ounces of smoky ginger ale. Stir briefly and squeeze in a lemon wedge. (And an edible flower, if you wish.)
When you add smoky flavors to bourbon, it tastes almost like Scotch; similarly, when you add smoky flavors to tequila, it tastes more like a mezcal. Here, we’re adding fresh grapefruit, juicy and bittersweet, for a cocktail that drinks like a Paloma, but with smoke and ginger lingering in the background. As refreshing as it is unusual.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of blanco tequila with ¾ ounce ruby red grapefruit juice, ¼ ounce simple syrup, and three ounces of smoky ginger ale. Stir briefly and garnish with a few grapefruit half-moons.