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Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Makes Us Snaphappy

Bruce Cost ginger ales, as seen on vegetariangazette.com

Our office celebrated something or other by having a tasting of three Bruce Cost ginger ales — original, jasmine tea, and pomegranate with hibiscus. This festive event raised two questions — who is Bruce Cost and where can we get some more? 

Bruce Cost is a James Beard award-winning chef who knows from ginger. In 1984 he wrote an award-winning cookbook, Ginger: East to West. He then opened restaurants in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Chicago. Most of his 14 restaurants featured his own hand made version of ginger ale. And working with a Brooklyn artisan bottler he launched his ginger ales in 2010.  

We paired all three sodas with Trader Joe's movie popcorn. Traditionalists that we are, we began with the original flavor (identified on the label as “original”) but first, we performed the ritual of gently shaking the bottle to swirl the fragrant fragments of ginger about. Yes! It is flavored with real ginger — not ginger extract. The entire ingredient list consists of carbonated water, fresh ginger, cane sugar (it is soda, you know) and citric acid. Our first sips produced an involuntary, “oh my!”

Scott said it was the best ginger ale he had ever tasted.  "What a revelation," said your probing reporter. "A potent ginger soda that doesn't hurt. The absence of pain brings tears to my eyes."

It should be noted that the ginger ale’s crispness nicely complemented the Trader Joe popcorn's crunch.

It was time to move on. Other Bruce Cost flavors awaited. This news threw Scott into despair.

“Don’t you know,” he asked, “the sequel is never as good as the original? I mean just look at Jaws and Jaws 2.” Point well taken. Nevertheless we moved on. First Jasmine Tea; then Pomegranate.

Sip. Pause. Smile. Joy.

The jasmine added a smoky, mysterious quality. The pomegranate somehow accented the ginger’s clarity without inflicting pain. The lovely ginger taste persisted thoughout.

The full Bruce Cost lineup is  shown above. It includes flavors we have not yet tasted — ginger beer (the bottler's newest), passion fruit with turmeric, and blood orange with meyer lemon.

 It was time to end this gingerian idyll  and get back to work.

For more about the Bruce Cost sodas, click here.