A new year starts and the alcoholic ginger beer trend continues; most of the major supermarkets (Aldi, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons) have already released their own-brand versions, so Waitrose is a little late to the party with their offering: “Waitrose Fiery Alcoholic Ginger Beer”.
The label has a small parrot at the top and, beneath the bird, the contents is described as being made “with Jamaican Ginger, Sicilian Lemon and a hint of Chilli”. I know some readers are rather against the use of Capsicum in ginger beers, feeling that it is a cheap substitute for real ginger, but it is worth noting that (non-alcoholic) Breckland Orchard uses chilli in addition to heaps of real ginger root and so, on its own, the inclusion of this shouldn’t put you off. As with most alcoholic ginger beers, the Waitrose version comes in at 4.0%ABV.
Colour: A deep, slightly cloudy, golden brown.
Fizz: Medium fizz, quickly dissipating.
Nose: Minimal, with just a hint of citrus and ginger.
Taste Chilled: Some sweetness and ginger upfront, followed by lemon citrus notes, which also add a touch of dry sourness. Towards the end, this fades into a clean flavour, somewhat akin to that of soda water; this is followed by a glowing ginger warmth on the finish.
Taste with Ice: This wasn’t so great with ice, as the extra dilution makes the drink a bit watery. Far better to enjoy this simply chilled.
In conclusion if you want a dryer, less sweet, less cloying ginger beer which still has a fiery kick this is the one for you. Good to see a ginger beer with a point of difference in an ever-competitive market.
Waitrose Fiery Alcoholic Ginger Beer is available for around £2 for 500ml from Waitrose.