Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Things started out a little dicey when the fancy pull tab went awry. It's that dreaded white plastic cap liner which fascinated me when I was a child. I'd dig them out of the metal caps and play with them, enjoying the slippery plastic feeling.

But wait, the tab is just fine. It only needed a firm tug to pull it loose. Huzzah! Those clever Australians. I've never seen a pull tab like this, and wonder if it's old fashioned of new-fangled. Hate it when I'm unsure.

The taste isn't as hot as most ginger beers, but it is still very gingery. And it's sweet, a good natural sweet without the nasty burn taste of corn syrup. Maybe there's something fruity in there too, sort of hidden sideways in the sweet. Hard to tell. Here is a photo of my first taste, I'm making such an ugly face because I THINK the drink is spicy. I was expecting eye watering pain.

My head is at a ridiculous angle because I'm on my cell phone, with my wife, who insisted I drink it while she was talking to me. Or listening to me. I'm not certain there's a difference.

This is the kind of spicy that lingers but doesn't hurt. Taking a mouthful and pressing it against the roof of my mouth it stings but doesn't make my eyes water. It burps up pleasantly later, still tasting like ginger beer. I've drank ginger beers that had me staggering around choking for minutes after a sip, the Bundaberg gives a light burn and then departs. It's like the wasabi of ginger beers.

The stuff smells light and sweet and gingery (of course), I wish Bundaberg made cologne. I'd either wear it or lick other people who were. Hard decisions.

I spent a whole month in Australia and never saw this stuff, more's the pity as I'd've drunk it by the case. Maybe they don't actually sell it in Australia, it's just for export. Like "export soda crackers", whatever the heck those are. What I did find in Australia was caffeine free Mountain Dew - it's all caffeine free there. You can't get the stuff in NYC, when I found it I was ecstatic. That was at the beginning of my trip, and I didn't see another Mountain Dew the entire month. Oh cruel fate, laughing and cruel.

If you hold it up to the light you can see the bits of ginger floating in it, though my picture doesn't do it justice. You'd better hold it up the light because the side of the bottle says "It's always cloudy in a bottle of good, old-fashioned ginger beer. Hold this bottle to the light and you'll see it's full of real ginger pieces..." Always follow directions, especially the one that says to invert the bottle before opening. I didn't do so and fear I didn't get the full experience.

This stuff is phenomenal. I want more.


  1. My dad is an ex British merchant marine, and would scoff at my puffter taste buds when I let a peck of ginger get the best of me. Now I drink Blenheim's pink tops(I pick them up on trips to the Carolina mountains)...eerrrrr! Three of those and you'll be in High Lonesome before the last sun drop licks the craw of the holler.

  2. Hmmph. This Blenheim stuff, the link you sent is talking all about the hot but not about the taste. So I made some phone calls and found out that the Great Jones Cafe here sells the stuff over the bar but not over the counter. I'll go give it a shot, so to speak.

  3. Hey - in your article you said you never saw the stuff while in Australia. I'm from Queensland (now in Michigan), this stuff is everywhere - you can't miss it! Really popular drink in australia, dark and stormies... it's Bundaberg ginger beer mixed with our most popular rum... Bundaberg Rum!

    Kinda like rum and coke, except with our ginger beer, its awesome. Also yeah, invert the bottle slowly, let it sift to the cap, turn back up let it settle again then drink. It's much better after.


  4. last guy is right....and if you want I can send you some more Austraian Drinks because this blog is awesome and i'm sure you'd love the new bottles and what not for your collection so email me if your interested