Why Savvy Travelers Always Opt for Ginger Ale on Flights

When it comes to choosing a beverage on a flight, many people have their go-to drinks. Some swear by the classic Bloody Mary, while others prefer the simplicity of water.

However, there’s one drink that stands out as the unsung hero of the sky: ginger ale. This crisp, bubbly beverage has a rich history and a unique ability to satisfy both your taste buds and your well-being at 36,000 feet.

How Ginger Ale Gained Popularity

Ginger ale first gained popularity in the 1840s in Ireland and England. It quickly made its way to North America, where both golden and dry-style ginger ales became trendy.

In 1904, John J. McLaughlin of Enniskillen, Ontario, created Canada Dry, one of the most recognizable and popular dry ginger ale brands. He even marketed it as the “Champagne of ginger ales” due to its sharp taste and clear color.

During the 1920s, ginger ale became a staple in United States speakeasies. Bootleggers found that the soft drink was particularly good at making smuggled liquors like whiskey and gin more palatable.

Today, while ginger ale may not be as popular as other soft drinks on the ground, it still reigns supreme in the sky.

The Science Behind Ginger Ale’s In-Flight Appeal

Taste Bud Changes at High Altitudes

The dry air and cabin pressure in an airplane can dull your sense of taste and smell, making certain foods and drinks taste different than they do on the ground.

The World Health Organization states that the air inside an aircraft cabin is similar to the thin, dry air found on a mountain peak 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. As a result, the perception of sweetness and saltiness is most affected.

When it comes to ginger ale, the drier varieties are often more popular among passengers. The extra sweetness in these ales may not register on your taste buds, resulting in a more refreshing, sharp, and dry taste.

Ginger’s Medicinal Benefits

Ginger has long been used as a home remedy for various ailments, including nausea, indigestion, muscle pain, and inflammation. Ginger can be especially beneficial for travelers, as it helps ease stomach upset for nervous flyers.

While some ginger ale brands may not contain real ginger, the ginger-like taste and carbonation can still provide a soothing effect. If you can find a ginger ale made with real ginger, you may experience even more benefits.

Avoiding Common In-Flight Beverage Issues

Drinking ginger ale on a plane can also help you avoid some common problems associated with other soft drinks. For example, Diet Coke requires extra time for the bubbles to dissipate due to the high altitude, which can slow down flight attendants during drink service. Ginger ale doesn’t have this issue, making it a more convenient choice for both passengers and crew.

Ginger Ale Alternatives and Additions

For those seeking the benefits of real ginger, there are alternatives to ginger ale. Sucking on ginger candy or drinking ginger tea can be even more effective for combating nausea and indigestion during a flight. These options can be easily packed in your carry-on bag.

If you’re looking to spice up your ginger ale on the ground, try mixing it into a classic cocktail. A Dark and Stormy, made with ginger beer, lime, and rum, or a Presbyterian, made with ginger ale, club soda, and whiskey, are both popular choices that showcase ginger ale’s versatility.

Ginger Ale for All Ages

Ginger ale can be an excellent choice for children on flights as well. It’s caffeine-free, typically milder in taste compared to other sodas, and can help soothe motion sickness. Plus, the fun, bubbly texture can be a treat for kids during the flight.

Ultimate In-Flight Beverage

Ginger ale is the ultimate in-flight beverage for a multitude of reasons. Its history, unique taste profile at high altitudes, and potential medicinal benefits make it a top choice for many travelers.

Whether you’re a nervous flyer looking to settle your stomach or simply searching for a refreshing drink to enjoy during your journey, ginger ale is a classic option that never disappoints. So the next time you’re on a plane, consider reaching for a crisp, bubbly ginger ale and discover why it’s the unsung hero of the sky.

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