Enjoy a chilled glass of artisanal ginger ale this summer.
For food writer, chef, and entrepreneur Bruce Cost, ginger has been a lifelong obsession. His 1984 award-winning cookbook, Ginger East to West, traced the history of ginger around the world, and his Asian restaurants in the Bay Area included the since-closed Ginger Island on Berkeley’s Fourth Street.
Most recently, Cost expressed his passion in bottle form, with his Fresh Ginger ginger ale, now available in four flavors at Whole Foods. “It definitely has proven health benefits, but I sell it because it tastes good and people like it,” he says. “There’s a natural human affinity to ginger; it just makes people feel good.”
Cost makes the ale, which he started serving at Ginger Island in the early ’90s, using 100-percent fresh ginger to capture the root’s zesty, spicy essence—a flavor worlds apart from Canada Dry or Schweppes. Or as Cost puts it, “It actually tastes like ginger.”
Cost recommends drinking it chilled in a glass without ice (like beer) or mixed into a cocktail such as the Diablo, below. freshgingerale.com.
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
1 1/2 ounces El Tesoro Reposado tequila
4 ounces Original Fresh Ginger ginger ale
Fill 10-ounce highball glass with ice, add lime juice, crème de cassis, tequila, and ginger ale, stir, and serve.
Created by Erik Adkins, bar director of the Slanted Door, for Bruce Cost Ginger Ale.