Disclaimer: Samples were provided by Rocky’s for this review. I appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review their product with no strings attached. I really appreciate that they sent a whole case! Thank you.
Do you know what the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale is? I didn’t, but I did a search and now I do. Ginger beer is brewed and fermented. Ginger ale is carbonated water with ginger flavoring added. Knowledge is power.
The first thing you notice is that Rocky’s Ginger Beer is clear. There’s no artificial coloring. There’s also no corn syrup or caffeine. And it’s made in Illinois, USA. Rocky’s is not the spiciest ginger beer; to me it is mild as the ginger ales I drink on airplanes. (I use them to season the ice for the whiskey I pour from travel size bottles.)
I enjoy sipping it on its own, but you didn’t come here just for me to tell you a soda is tasty. What about the bourbon drinks, cocktail monkey? If you regularly drink bourbon and ginger ale, Rocky’s will work nicely. As someone who drank hundreds (or more) of those during his 20s, you can trust me.
In my opinion, the best bourbon drink to make with Rocky’s is a buck which is basically a sophisticated version of a whiskey & ginger with bitters, lemon and sugar added. Previously, I made the very delicious Besamim Buck with Rocky’s. Here’s a split base cocktail that does for bucks what I did to the old fashioned with the Fall Fashion Issue.
Bonded Buck Cocktail
- 1 oz bonded bourbon (How about Evan Williams?)
- 1 oz bonded apple brandy (Laird’s)
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 oz chilled ginger beer (Rocky’s Ginger Beer)
Shake bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters with ice. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with chilled ginger beer and garnish with lemon peel.
Much more refreshing than your standard whiskey and ginger ale and with a far greater depth of flavor. Cheers!
Thomas Fondano has been drinking bourbon and trying every bottling he can get his hands on since last century. While he enjoys all types of whiskeys, bourbon remains his go-to whenever he says, “I need a drink.” He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon where he makes cocktails every day at 5pm. Read Thomas' full profile.