Review: Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale

Bruce Cost Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Bruce Cost Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Bruce Cost Fresh Ginger Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale is a tasty variation on traditional ginger ale, not only because it has lots of ginger flavor – unlike more familiar ginger ales – but also because it is infused with jasmine green tea!  Bruce Cost is one of the vendors who attend the San Francisco International Tea Festival every year, and I first tasted their Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale there a few years ago.

The ginger ale comes in 12-oz. glass bottles with a sepia-tinged ivory paper label and black lettering, which reads: “Whole leaf tea, floral and earthy with tannins”, “Separation is natural.  Shake gently.” “Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Unfiltered”, “Made with 100% fresh ginger (no extracts) & pure cane sugar”, “Jasmine Tea”, “Proud descendent of the original soft drink, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is delicious, sparkling and rich with whole ginger, long enjoyed for digestive comfort”. It contains 160 calories per serving (bottle), and the ingredients are: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, 100% fresh ginger, premium brewed jasmine green tea with filtered water, and citric acid.  Some vendors also sell the Original Ginger Ale in cans, as well.  It sells for about $2 per bottle.

The Bruce Cost product line is produced in and sold out of New York, but it is available at specialty beverage stores like BevMo and Cost Plus World Market, as well as Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, Zanotto’s, Lunardi’s, Andronico’s, Mollie Stone’s and Whole Foods in the South Bay Area.  I bought this at Cost Plus World Market on Coleman in San Jose, where they also had the Original Ginger Ale and Pomegranite with Hibiscus.

Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale is a spicy, very gingery ginger ale, unfiltered, so that there are pieces of ginger floating in the bottle.  It has a cloudy amber color – due to the green tea and ginger bits – and isn’t too sweet, and its sparkling carbonation makes it extra refreshing.  Unfortunately, the flavor of the jasmine green tea is very mild, almost completely covered up by the intensity of the ginger flavor.  Since I like really gingery ginger ale and ginger beer, I really enjoy this company’s ginger ales, but I would like the Jasmine Tea flavor better if I could taste more of the jasmine green tea!

About ginger ale and ginger beer — they are not the same product!  Ginger beer is fermented like other beers and kombucha, and that creates the carbonation, and leaves behind trace amounts of alcohol in the finished product.  Ginger ale is carbonated with carbonated water and is alcohol free.  Beyond the addition or exclusion of yeast, there are a couple of different styles of ginger ale and ginger beer: Jamaican style is very spicy and includes honey and fruit juices like pineapple and pear to add flavor and sweetening. The golden style has a dark amber color, with not only the heat, but the flavor of ginger most prominent, and maybe a little lemon or lime in the background, but not really other flavors.  The dry or pale style is a bit less sweet, has a milder flavor and lighter color, and is often used as a mixer in cocktails because of this.

Bruce Cost ginger ales are of the golden type, using natural ginger to create a strong spicy heat with an intense ginger flavor.  This is not carbonated sugar water with a tiny bit of ginger in it!  The company makes their Original ginger ale as well as Pomegranate with Hibiscus, Passion Fruit with Yellow Ginger (Turmeric), and 66 – a 66-calorie version sweetened with monk fruit and cane sugar, as well as their Jasmine Tea flavor.  Although I’d appreciate a stronger jasmine green tea flavor, I would buy their Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale again.

Copyright 2014, Elizabeth Urbach.

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For more information:
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale website
“Review: Fresh Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost Original”
“Review: Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost Pomegranite with Hibiscus”
“Review: Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost Jasmine Tea”
“Bruce Cost’s fresh ginger ale is back” from SF Gate
“Ginger Ale’s Irish Roots” by Ken Previtali
“Japanese tea from San Jose’s Japantown” 
“Kombucha: what is it, and should you drink it?”
“What are the different kinds of green tea available in San Jose?”
“San Francisco International Tea Festival happens this Saturday!”
“San Francisco International Tea Festival – accessible to San Jose tea lovers”
“San Francisco International Tea Festival returns to the Bay Area”
“All about tisanes, or ‘herbal teas’”
“Summer drink series: sweet ginger jasmine iced tea”


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Filed under Product Reviews, Tea, Vendors and Shops

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