Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
7 Ginger Cocktails That Are Actually Spicy

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Ginger is the Ferrari of the spice world, universally recognizable yet capable of totally surprising with its raw power when used right. Common ginger highballs like a mellow Moscow Mule or an uninspired Dark ‘N’ Stormy will get you where you’re going, happily puttering along in the carpool lane, but they always leave you longing for something with a bit more pickup. Unleash ginger’s true power with these spice-forward cocktails, and experience a full-on cocktail rush.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall

A standard Dark ‘N’ Stormy will satisfy a basic ginger craving, but for a monstrous thirst for gingery flavor, you’ve got to upgrade the flavors that surround the ginger and rum. Swapping ginger beer for condensed ginger syrup is a good start, and splitting the base with Jäger will amp up the raw spice with the liqueur’s dry zing. Nutty orgeat and a few heavy dashes of Angostura pack on the layers of flavor, and nixing soda altogether keeps this highball concentrated on the ginger’s star role.

The Essentials

Jägermeister
aged rum
ginger syrup
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Ginger isn’t exactly a hard flavor to come by, so there’s no reason to stress over whipping up a ginger cocktail. The Presbyterian takes that concept to heart, relying on the power of blended scotch combined with your choice of ginger beer or ginger ale. Scotch with warm flavors of malt and smoke works best here to elevate simple ginger sodas to new spicy heights.

The Essentials

Blended Scotch
ginger ale
Ice
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We tend to think of Gatorade as the apex of technological hydration, but the 18th century Colonial switchel gives the modern thirst-quencher a run for its money. A sweet, spicy mix of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup gives the drink an aggressive woodsy and fruity flavor, which combines with the similarly sweet and spicy profile of bourbon. After drinking the ginger beer-topped switchel, you’ll likely find all other ginger sodas taste shallow in comparison.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Maple Syrup
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

The Moscow Mule is an obvious stepping stone for ginger cocktail innovators, jumping off the Buck’s easy, fizzy formula. But this version, spiked with Mexican mezcal, takes the cocktail from lightly spiced to truly spicy. Along with the smoky base, Ancho Reyes Verde Poblano liqueur brings real vegetal heat to the drink. Combined with ginger beer and cilantro, the Mexi-Cali Mule represents the savory side of the Mule family, and does it well.

The Essentials

Mezcal
Ancho Reyes Verde
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

They say lightning never strikes twice, but the boozy duo of white lightning and ginger beer in this Moscow Mule variant hits your taste buds with a brilliant one-two zesty combo. The rambunctious pair dance around tart grapefruit juice and acidic lime, while a wood-fired grapefruit slice and rosemary coat the them all in grassy, smoky overtones.

The Essentials

moonshine
Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Many people drink kombucha daily for its invigorating effects on the belly, but ginger can also contribute to gut-healthy habits. In the Daily Routine, the two combine with Pimm’s liqueur to create a funky, fermented, bracing cocktail, that’s as good for digestion as any digestif on the liquor store shelf.

The Essentials

Ginger
Pimm's
Kombucha
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

We’re all for a simple, refreshing Gin Buck, but for a zestier take on the juniper spirit, try bright lemony tonic instead. Lavender cordial smooths out any wayward botanicals in the gin, while letting the gingery side of the spirit shine in concert with tart lemon juice. Think of it as a punchier, adult glass of lemonade.

The Essentials

gin
ginger syrup
Tonic

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