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The History of Ginger Ale

Ireland developed the first ginger ales in 1851. Unlike the English ginger beers invented during the Victorian era, these were non-alcoholic and relied on carbon dioxide to produce carbonation. Similar soft drinks soon traveled across the Atlantic and became popular in Canada. In 1890, Canadian pharmacist and owner of a carbonated water manufacturing plant, John McLaughlin, began creating his own soda drink recipes and came up with McLaughlin Belfast Style Ginger Ale. He also developed a method of mass bottling that helped him achieve commercial success. In 1904, McLaughlin created a version with a lighter color and milder taste, Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale, which he patented in 1907. This marked the creation of the first modern ginger ale. It became especially popular as a mixer in the United States during Prohibition because the ginger flavor masked the taste of illegal alcoholic spirits. Today, ginger ale remains a popular soft drink and is often used as a folk remedy for upset stomach and nausea as well.

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