The Best Ginger Beer For Mocktails – What’s the best brand of ginger beer? We put six popular brands to the test to find the best one!
When it comes to mocktails, the ingredients matter!
The mixers or the flavor ingredients you add make a big impact, so using quality ingredients can really level up your mocktail game!
We’ve been on a ginger beer mocktail kick lately, so we did a taste test of all of the brands of ginger beer we could find to determine which ginger beer is best for mocktails.
The results were delicious–spicy, sweet, fizzy, and delightful! So, in case you’re curious too, here’s everything you need to know about ginger beer & which brands are best…
What Is Ginger Beer?
Ginger beer started out as a fermented drink made from ginger, water, sugar, and a starter culture or yeast, brewed to create natural carbonation (kind of like kombucha!). While old-fashioned ginger beer used to contain alcohol (about 11%), modern-day ginger beer is almost exclusively non-alcoholic. Ginger beer is common in drinks like a Moscow Mule or a Dark & Stormy.
Ginger Beer VS. Ginger Ale
So what’s the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer? Are ginger ale and ginger beer the same thing? Let’s break it down:
- Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda with more carbonation, more sweetness and less ginger flavor than ginger beer.
- Ginger beer is tends to be stronger and spicier than ginger ale, with more ginger-forward flavor. It’s usually a fermented or brewed drink rather than a soda, though some brands add additional carbonation to their recipes.
Both drinks are enjoyed on their own, as mixers for cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails, and even to help calm nausea. As for which ginger beer brand is the best, we did a taste test of popular brands so you don’t have to!
Fever Tree Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 9.5/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Fizzy, nuanced, subtly sweet.
- TOTAL SUGAR: 18 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Amazon Fresh, Target, Kroger, Walmart
Fever Tree Ginger Beer is, for many, the gold standard for ginger beer, and I get why! Made with three varieties of ginger from Cochin, India, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria that each add something different.
The flavor was warm and spicy, more nuanced and full-bodied than some of the other brands we tried. It also tasted a little less sweet than some, which I prefer when I’m mixing mocktails. The ginger was bold without being too overpowering for me, and ultimately the mix of ginger flavor makes this my top pick for the best ginger beer for mocktails.
More Flavors To Try: Fever Tree Light (diet), Blood Orange Ginger Beer
Q Mixers Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 8/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Strongest, spiciest, fizziest ginger beer we tried. Naturally sweetened with agave.
- TOTAL SUGAR: 18 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Amazon Fresh, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods
Q Mixers ginger beer was hands-down the spiciest, pepperiest, fizziest ginger beer we tried. Made with ginger extract and chili pepper extract, it had a noticeable bite that made 3/4 of us cough even before sipping. Once you get past the initial bite/spice, there are subtle citrus notes, from the coriander, cardamom, lime, and orange that are nice.
Q markets themselves as mixers rather than sodas, so their ginger beer is meant for mixed drinks (cocktails or mocktails). It works well in a moscow mule mocktail for sure! If you want something extra punchy and strong, Q ginger beer is the one for you.
If you want a really spicy ginger beer, this is the best bet. It’s also naturally sweetened–made with organic agave instead of sugar.
Other Flavors To Try. Q Mixers makes diet ginger beer, as well as flavored ginger beers, like Hibiscus and Tropical. We tried the tropical (with mango, passionfruit, and pineapple) and really enjoyed it!
Favorite Day Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 8/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Crowd favorite overall – sweet, fizzy, with moderate ginger flavor
- TOTAL SUGAR: 25 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Target (It’s a Target store brand)
I wanted to toss one generic or store brand ginger beer into our taste test and Favorite Day was our pick this time. Besides the beautiful branding and affordable price, it was the crowd favorite overall.
Favorite Day Ginger Beer has a flavor like strong ginger ale with the volume turned up, fizzy and sweet with plenty of ginger flavor. It wasn’t too strong, or too weak, and had plenty of bubbles for our crowd. It works great on its own, and mixes into drinks like a charm.
Other Flavors To Try: Favorite Day also makes a zero-calorie diet ginger beer, sweetened with, as well as Hibiscus Ginger Beer, that’s a gorgeous, striking red. I think it would be beautiful in mocktails!
Reed’s Extra Ginger Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 9/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Sweet, fizzy, balanced, with citrus and pineapple notes
- TOTAL SUGAR: 18.6 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Amazon Fresh, Kroger, Sprouts, Target, Walmart
This was our 2nd favorite overall. Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer tastes fizzy and sweet, with a soft, almost gingerbread-like ginger flavor. It’s refreshing and warming at the same time, and pairs beautifully with other flavors (like in moscow mule mocktail!).
Reed’s specializes in Jamaican-style ginger beer made with real ginger (rather than extracts) and includes honey, pineapple, lemon & lime juices, and spices.
Seeing the “Extra” label, I fully expected this to be the spiciest, strongest, boldest ginger flavor of the bunch, and was totally surprised that it fell somewhere in the middle. It turns out, their ginger beer range includes three levels of strength–original (mild), extra (medium), and strongest (strong).
More Flavors To Try: They also make a premium ginger beer sweetened with honey and pineapple and a zero-calorie diet ginger beer. Lots of choices!
Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 7/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Very (too?) sweet, weak ginger flavor–almost like root beer
- TOTAL SUGAR: 21.3 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Amazon Fresh, Walmart, Kroger
Bundaberg ginger beer tastes very sweet, with a flavor almost like root beer. This Australian brand is the only brand of ginger beer we tried that uses yeast, an echo of the way ginger beer used to be brewed.
For me, there wasn’t enough ginger flavor and it felt too sweet to combine with anything else, like juice or simple syrup. I also didn’t love the preservatives (potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate).
I’d say this is a good option if you don’t want a strong ginger flavor, or you like your drinks on the sweet side. (My daughter enjoyed this one a lot.)
Other Flavors To Try: it also comes in a diet version sweetened with a mix of cane sugar and aspartame, if you’re looking for less sugar or carbs.
Betty Buzz Ginger Beer
- SCORE: 6/10
- FLAVOR NOTES: Sweet, subtly sparkly, more lemon-lime flavor
- TOTAL SUGAR: 11.3 grams per 200 ml
- WHERE TO BUY: Betty Buzz, Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods
I was SUPER excited to try this brand! Created by Blake Lively, Betty Buzz mixers are lower in calories, made with real ingredients (actual juice, natural flavors, etc.), have gorgeous branding, and were developed with non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails in mind.
One sip in, I knew that Betty Buzz Ginger Beer wasn’t going to win the ginger beer taste test. As a soda or mixer in general, it wasn’t bad. We loved the ingredients list and felt like it could mix into mocktails well. But, for a ginger beer, the flavor just wasn’t there. This brand tasted more like a sweet lemon-lime soda, and it didn’t have much fizz or ginger punch to it. If you want a ginger-forward drink, this one just won’t get you there.
Other Varieties To Try. While the ginger beer didn’t win our taste test, I’m excited to try some of the other mixers in her line. The agave-sweetened Sparkling Grapefruit and Meyer Lemon Club Soda sound especially nice!
FAQ: The Best Ginger Beer
What Ginger Beer Has Real Ginger? 4 of the 6 brands we tried used actual, real ginger:
- Bundaberg – Ginger root
- Fever Tree – 3 Varieties of ginger (ginger root, natural ginger flavors)
- Reed’s – Pressed organic ginger root
- Betty Buzz – Real Ginger juice
Which Ginger Beer Is The Best For a Moscow Mule Or Moscow Mule Mocktail? Some of this is subjective, but Fever Tree is my favorite for a moscow mule. If you want yours extra spicy, Q mixers can be a good way to go!
Which Ginger Beer Is The Sweetest? Bundaberg’s was the sweetest to my taste, though Favorite Day contained slightly more sugar per 200 ml.
Which Ginger Beer Is The Spiciest? Q Mixers by far! With more fizz and the strong ginger and chili pepper extracts, it feels and tastes extra spicy.