Sunday, February 05, 2006

Friends Week-- Ale-8-One

So as I previously posted, Lisa and J are friends who live in KY. They sent me the traditonal KY beverage, Ale-8-1 (get it? A Late One!) or just ale-8 if you prefer. It turns out there is a lot of Ale-8 lore, legend and argument. First, the Ale-8 in bottles is rumored to be better, and not the same as canned ale-8. It seems that "local tradition" frowns upon Ale-8 in cans. Bust since only some parts of KY, OH, and IN get Ale-8, I wonder who is actually drinking the cans? What impresses me more is that there are still Ale-8 bottle machines, like this one, where my Ale-8 was purchased:

One of the first happy things that I noticed about Ale-8 is that it is made with real sugar, not corn syrup. This makes it way tastier, and you don't get that weird film over your teeth like when you drink corn syrup drinks. From wikipedia I learned that "Ale-8 traditionalists...have gone as far as to develop their own method of holding their drink, called "The Green Dragon." This method involves gripping the glass bottle only at the very top (where no liquid touches when full) with only one's index finger and thumb. The remaining fingers are forced to flail out in a "dragon-like" manner. This method of holding an Ale-8 is used to keep the drink cold as long as possible by not warming it with body heat."

Well, I don't believe in doing things halfway. Actually, that's a complete lie: I totally believe in doing things halfway. But the green dragon sounded pretty awesome, so here is my recreation:

I totally felt like a ninja master drinking the green dragon way. I also dislike when beverages get warm, so maybe I will adapt the green dragon for other beverages. And I look so zen and confident doing the green dragon here.

So, as a big ginger ale fan, I did like Ale-8. At first I just thought "hey this is just ginger ale." A spicy but very sweet ginger ale. The ginger is like real fresh ginger, not fakey ginger ale. But then I did detect the slight fruit flavor. At first i was unaware of what fruit this may be, but I realized it was a fruit. I think it may be some lemon-limey citrus thing. I was hoping for mango since my previous mango ginger ale experience was good. However, Ale-8 is SWEEEEET. Like, "ow my molars hurt" sweet. It didn't make it any less enjoyable, but I can't see drinking this that often. Now Diet Ale-8, maybe.

Also, the wikipedia mentioned that this was invented to be drunk at night to settle the stomach. Ale-8 did make me burp copiously, so I guess that's working. However, since it has the caffeine of a Coca-Cola, I don't think I will immediately be sleeping. I can see though how the ginger could be seen as medicinal!

You can get Ale-8 shipped to you, and if you are in KY you can go on a tour of their plant or rent out their special event truck! How great is that!?

Hey Jenny, I love your blog. I work with Lisa down in good ol' Caintuckee. I've been drinking Ale-8 since I was little, so I am so proud to have someone outside of the region who likes it too. I agree, it is very sweet - my dad blames his diabetes on this drink. He says thank god for Diet.  

Why thank you. I love Ale-8. I am sure Diet would quickly become my favorite drink, though I will probably have to visit to find out! Are you familiar with the Green Dragon?  

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