Big Ginger Cocktail Recipe

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Big Ginger Nutrition Facts





Alcohol content:10%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Big Ginger cocktail is a simple yet refreshing drink that has gained popularity for its ease of preparation and the delightful combination of whiskey with the spicy-sweet flavors of ginger ale. It's a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts who prefer a lighter, effervescent drink, especially during the summer months or as a casual evening refreshment.

  • Originating in the bars of the United States, the Big Ginger has become a staple for those who appreciate the smooth blend of spirits with the zing of ginger.
  • The cocktail's name itself is a straightforward nod to its two main components: a 'big' serving of ginger ale paired with the robust flavor of whiskey.
  • Over time, the Big Ginger has seen variations in different regions, with some opting for local or craft ginger ales to add a unique twist to the classic recipe.

How Big Ginger Tastes?

The Big Ginger cocktail offers a harmonious balance between the warmth of whiskey and the crisp, spicy kick of ginger ale. It's a refreshing concoction that's slightly sweet with a gentle carbonation that tickles the palate. The citrus from the lime and lemon wedges adds a subtle tartness, making it an invigorating and approachable drink.

Interesting facts about Big Ginger

  • The Big Ginger is often associated with Irish whiskey, as the smooth and slightly sweet profile of this type of whiskey complements the ginger ale perfectly.
  • It's a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, but it's particularly popular during the warmer months due to its refreshing qualities.
  • The Big Ginger is also a popular choice for those looking to enjoy whiskey in a more mellow and less-intense form, as the ginger ale softens the spirit's strong character.


A few good options for Big Ginger are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Whiskey is the spirit base, providing robust and often smoky flavors, forming the backbone of the Big Ginger cocktail. Using 2 oz is perfect to assert its presence without overwhelming the other ingredients. A reduction might make the cocktail too light, while more can mask the subtleties.

Emma Rose

Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale offers a spicy fizz that complements the whiskey's strong notes. At 4 oz, it balances the whiskey's intensity and adds a refreshing character. Less ginger ale would diminish the cocktail's vibrancy, more could water down the whiskey's prominence.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Wedge

The lime's acidity brightens the drink, cutting through the whiskey's richness. It interacts with the ginger's spice to elevate the overall refreshing sensation. Without it, the cocktail may be flatter in taste.

Alex Green

Lemon Wedge

A lemon wedge adds a citrusy zing, giving the drink a more rounded flavor profile that partners well with the lime and spices. Omitting it can leave the drink feeling one-dimensional.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Big Ginger Drink

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Squeeze a lemon and lime wedge over the ice and drop the wedges into the glass.
  • Pour 2 oz of whiskey into the glass.
  • Top with 4 oz of ginger ale.
  • Stir gently to mix the flavors.
  • Garnish with a lime or lemon wedge on the rim if desired.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • For an extra cold Big Ginger, chill the glass before preparing the cocktail.
  • If you prefer a less sweet drink, look for a ginger ale with a lower sugar content or one that's labeled 'dry'.
  • To enhance the ginger flavor, muddle a few slices of fresh ginger at the bottom of the glass before adding the ice.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The smoky flavor of grilled meats complements the spicy kick of the ginger ale and the robustness of the whiskey.
  • Sushi: The zesty lime in the Big Ginger can enhance the delicate flavors of sushi, especially when paired with ginger-themed dishes.
  • Cheese Platter: A good mix of hard and soft cheeses goes well with the Big Ginger's mix of sweetness and acidity.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Beer: A refreshing lager can clean the palate between sips of the Big Ginger.
  • Water: It’s always a good idea to alternate with water when drinking cocktails to stay hydrated.

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What you could change in Big Ginger

  • Whiskey: You can substitute the whiskey with bourbon for a sweeter, fuller flavor or a Scotch for a smokier profile.
  • Ginger Ale: Artisanal or craft ginger ales can be used for a more pronounced ginger flavor and natural sweetness.
  • Citrus Wedges: Orange or grapefruit wedges can be used as an alternative to lime and lemon for a different citrus twist.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Ginger

  • Replace whiskey with a smoky Scotch.
  • Add a dash of angostura bitters.
  • Follow the original recipe, replacing whiskey with Scotch and adding bitters. Expect a deeper smokiness and a complex, bitter edge that complements the ginger.

Spicy Big Ginger

  • Muddle a few slices of fresh ginger in the glass before adding ice.
  • Use a spicy ginger beer instead of ginger ale.
  • This twist turns up the heat, intensifying the ginger flavor for those who love a spicy kick.

Big Ginger Highball

  • Add 0.5 oz of honey syrup.
  • Top with soda water instead of ginger ale.
  • The introduction of honey syrup and soda water will bring a pleasant sweetness and a smoother effervescence to the drink, stretching it into a more mellow highball variation.

In case you forgot basics how to make Big Ginger

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Big Ginger

Can the Big Ginger be made into a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, you can substitute the whiskey with a non-alcoholic spirit or use ginger beer instead of ginger ale for a non-alcoholic variant that still has a spicy kick.

Is the Big Ginger suitable for vegan diets?

Generally, yes, since the ingredients are plant-based. However, it's always best to check the specific brands of whiskey and ginger ale for any animal-derived processing agents.

How do I choose the best whiskey for a Big Ginger cocktail?

Look for a whiskey that balances well with the ginger ale's sweetness—a medium-bodied Irish whiskey often works well. Taste is subjective, so experimenting with different brands may be necessary to find your perfect match.

Can I use homemade ginger ale in the Big Ginger cocktail?

Absolutely! Homemade ginger ale can give your cocktail a unique and fresh flavor, just be mindful of adjusting sweetness and carbonation to your liking.

How can I adjust the Big Ginger cocktail for a larger crowd?

You can create a Big Ginger punch by multiplying the ingredients proportionally and serving it in a large bowl or pitcher, allowing guests to serve themselves.

What's the best type of ice to use for the Big Ginger?

Use large ice cubes or spheres to keep your Big Ginger cold without diluting the flavors too quickly.

How long does it take to prepare a Big Ginger cocktail?

It typically takes less than 5 minutes to prepare a Big Ginger, making it a great choice for quick and easy entertaining.

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