It’s interesting that a local government website claims that ginger ale is the same as salabat. It isn’t. Salabat is ginger brew and made by simmering fresh ginger root in water. Ginger ale may refer to either dark ginger age, which is really more of a beer because it is made with yeast and goes through a fermentation process, or pale ginger ale which is made with ginger juice (or extract) and soda water.
Pale ginger ale is, in fact, nothing but a ginger flavored carbonated soft drink. It is non-alcoholic. I’ve been a ginger ale lover (and a Coke hater) since grade school but it is not popular in the Philippines so I could enjoy it only occasionally.
Pale ginger ale is also an ingredient in many cocktail drinks. Like this mint highball which is part ginger ale and part creme de menthe. The most common ratio is one part creme de menthe and two parts ginger ale. Add ice, shake or stir, and serve garnished with lemon peel. But Speedy discovered that by adding another ingredient, mint highball tastes even better. What ingredient?
- 1 part creme de menthe
- 2 parts ginger ale
- lemon juice to taste
- lemon peel to garnish
Start with the traditional ratio of one part creme de menthe and two parts ginger ale. Then, make adjustments to suit your taste. Perhaps, you want a one to one ratio? Why not? When you're happy with the ratio, try adding lemon juice a little at a time. No more than half a teaspoonful at a time, in fact, until you get that perfect contrast.
Is the lemon peel merely decorative? Well, it's not edible, definitely. However, it adds a wonderful aroma to this cold drink. And you know how it is with any food or drink -- it's not just how it tastes but how it smells too.