Skip to main content

Ginger Ale and the issue of subjective vs objective reality.

TOP 25 OBJECTIVE REALITY QUOTES (of 55) | A-Z Quotes

It seems that the titles of my posts become more and more elaborate. But you have got to understand the background:

I have posted a post - and a video, where I made ginger ale. I have to say, this ginger ale rocks - I still stand to my recipe.

However there is a point, that we believe that in the past, everything was produced more “rustic” and more “naturally” - and I also assumed it. 

Apparently the opposite is fact. Especially when it comes to sodas - the “soda jerks” in the 19th century and the early 20th century were mainly pharmacists, who didn’t used natural ingredients, but rather used chemistry, part was still big companies are using for their highly processed soda syrups - partly which is no more allowed, because it was either way dangerous and poisonous, highly addictive or both (the conspiracy that Coca Cola contained cocaine is not totally wrong).

My friend Darcy O’Neil who thankfully isn’t only a good bartender, but also a soda historian and chemical research analysts has now videos - which I can learn from! 


So - no, probably ginger ale was never produced by steeping ginger in water and make it like a good ol’ dinner recipe.

Would I rather do Darcy’s or my recipe?

To be honest - I do think, that moving forward doesn’t always mean, to do it like in the past. I think making sodas from less processed ingredient is more than adequate. The only problem: you cannot keep it for long. My type of syrup stays about 1 month at its quality peak. Some sodas like ginger ale rather have days, before they perish. Darcy’s syrups and sodas are almost indefinitely shelf stable. 

Flavor is also a key difference. I think that our palate almost adapted to the highly processed (and “aged”) aromas. For example I found, that “aged” (that means forgotten) lemon soda, will taste after a month or so like Mountain Dew - it seems that the lemon oils are oxidizing and becoming very similar to compounds found in the popular soda. I usually enjoy Mountain Dew - but to be honest, I rather enjoy real lemon aromas. 

But this is the thing: we have got to choose. We have to understand, that both “products” exist - and that a less romantic history exist - and we have to choose, what we like to make.

Besides of my interest for the implications of Darcy’s knowledge, I am just interested nominal about the taste of the sodas - because of their historical importance.  But at the end, they will taste very close what you can buy of big soda companies. 

However if you are making a recipe, which uses fresh ginger, some caramelized sugar (or even black sugar) and if you are reducing the ingredients (only using citric acid as acidifier) - you have a different level of authenticity - which doesn’t derive of historical data, but of the ingredients themselves.

But please: we have to understand, that Darcy does a huge public service here. First of all, it discovers (in a very charming way), what you are really drinking when you gulp down sodas. The marketing let us believe, that it has still something to do with real fruit and real ingredients. And while essential oils are real - all ingredients are at least highly processed.
We also can understand, how we can make ginger ale better. I won’t use a percolator to do my syrups anytime soon (ok, ok, I have googled it already and looked at different options) but the information to use cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel definitely peeked my interest! I will incorporate it into my future recipe.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time. I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution!  But when Chris, over at A Bar Above  discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion". Here is the video: I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris. What is citric acid? Chemical Compound Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks. Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7 Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol Melting Point: 153C Density: 1.66 g/cm3 Boiling point: 175C Soluble in: Water Why is it controversial? In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [ preferably in powder form ] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most

What is the best cranberry juice in the bar?

A good friend of me "whatsapp'ed" me today and asked for my expertise: "What is the best cranberry juice?" I would loved to just let him know the brand - however it is not that easy. What do we understand of cranberry juice? One of the biggest [maybe the  biggest producer] of cranberry products is Ocean Spray. And: it is well regarded. Problem is: it is not a juice! Wait - what? Ocean Spray doesn't produce a juice - they produce a juice cocktail - which translates into a lot of water, a lot of sugar, some taste-balancers as citric acid [nothing against this really] and a minuscule portion of juice - usually around 3%. Yes they have something which is called 100% juice. Which is on one hand true, on the other the biggest deception ever. Because you don't get 100% cranberry - you get a mixture of juices of concentrate - most of the time apple and white grape and a bit of cranberry. There are also some other brands around, which might feature a h

"Monin Rocks!" - Really?

R ussell S anchez MONIN UAE MONIN Rocks @ HARD ROCK CAFE Dubai  — with   Rhiandro Gardiner  and Louie Aquias  at  Hard Rock Cafe . I have seen this on my Facebook timeline. And well... I wanted to write about Monin since quite a long time, but haven't. However this message was a catalyst, to speak up. It is already a couple of months ago, that I routinely checked the ingredient list of a Monin bottle. ...and was shocked.... Point is, that I have always defended Monin against my US colleagues as decent brand. At least with the products they offered here in the Middle East and in Europe; they came from their factory in France. Most of the ingredients [except lets say in Blue Curacao syrup] were natural. Long time ago, somebody from Monin explained, that this is due to the quite strict regulations in France for syrup - there it is a family culture to drink syrup sweetened water/seltzer. And off course especially for the k