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Drinking And Driving

9 September 2011

When taking a road trip, bringing along the appropriate beverage is crucial. And though my paternal grandfather reportedly used to declare, “You’re never really too drunk to drive,” I err on the side of caution and pack some non-alcoholic treats.

My current #1 road trip drink is Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, an “All Natural Jamaican Style” ginger beer. Sold in packs of four bottles, this ginger beer, unlike regular ginger ales, is “carefully brewed and aged like fine wine in small batches by [Reed’s’] expert brewmasters,” according to the website.

However they make it, the ginger beer tastes delicious, with small bubbles and a powerfully spicy ginger kick (sure to keep you awake while driving). It lacks caffeine, but since caffeine is a diuretic, that can perhaps be an advantage.

Once you reach your destination, you can save any leftover bottles for the trip home, or even better, make a proper cocktail. My favorites are the Dark ‘n’ Stormy and the Moscow Mule:

Dark ‘n’ Stormy: Combine 1/2 bottle of strong, well-chilled ginger beer and 1/2 oz. dark rum in a highball glass over ice. Squeeze in the juice of about 1/4 of a lime, stir gently and serve.

Moscow Mule: Combine a sprig of fresh mint, some ice, 1/2 bottle of strong, well-chilled ginger beer, 1/2 oz. vodka and the juice of 1/2 a lime in a highball glass, in that order. Stir gently, bruising the mint, and top with one or two additional mint leaves. This cocktail is also delicious without the vodka.

To be honest, I usually double these recipes for myself, and drink the cocktail out of a big water glass. I save the highball glasses for guests.

With autumn approaching, also seek out Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew, a gingery apple pie of a drink — it tastes like fall in a bottle. Whole Foods sometimes carries it, or check Reed’s handy store locator page.

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