Updated at: 18-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever wondered if that tantalizing Vernors Ginger Ale you’ve been sipping on contains real ginger? Originally brewed by a Detroit pharmacist in 1866, Vernors has gained legendary status among its avid fans.

This article will dive into the history and current formulation of this popular soda to answer your burning question. Stay tuned because what we found might just surprise you!

The History of Vernors

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Origins of Vernors

James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, created the signature spiciness of Vernors by using ginger extract in the carbonated beverage’s recipe. This unique concoction was devised during 1866 while he served in the Civil War.

He initially designed it as a medicinal tonic for relief from upset stomachs but soon discovered its delightful taste and fizzy experience held appeal beyond its curative properties.

The mixture sat perfectly locked away in an oak cask while James was at war; on his return, he stumbled upon what would become one of America’s beloved soft drinks – Vernors Ginger Soda!

Changes in ingredients over time

Vernors has undergone changes in its ingredients over the years. Here are some important points to understand about these changes:

  1. Vernors has a long history, and its ingredients have evolved since it was first created.
  2. The original recipe of Vernors included real ginger as one of its main ingredients.
  3. Over time, the formulation of Vernors has changed, and natural flavors are now used instead of real ginger.
  4. While the current version of Vernors does not contain real ginger, it still retains its signature spicy flavor through the use of ginger extract.
  5. Detroiters, who are obsessed with Vernors, may remember a time when real ginger was listed on the label as an ingredient.
  6. However, it is important to note that even without real ginger, Vernors continues to be a popular and beloved drink with its unique taste.

Current formulation

The current recipe for this beloved soda includes natural flavors, which help to enhance the ginger taste and make it even more enjoyable.

While the exact amount of ginger extract in Vernors is not disclosed on the label, rest assured that it still carries its signature spicy flavor that fans have come to love. So if you’re looking for a delicious ginger ale with a bit of a kick, Vernors is definitely worth trying!

The Presence of Ginger in Vernors

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Use of real ginger in original recipe

Vernors, the iconic ginger ale, is famous for its signature spicy and flavorful taste. One of the reasons for its distinct flavor is the use of real ginger in its original recipe.

Unlike many other ginger ale brands that rely on artificial flavors, Vernors is made with natural ingredients, including genuine ginger root.

The addition of real ginger gives Vernors its unique spiciness that has become beloved by Detroiters and fans all over.

Current ingredients and natural flavors

The current formulation of Vernors includes a blend of natural flavors and ingredients that contribute to its unique taste. These include:

  1. Ginger extract: Vernors still uses ginger in its recipe, although the amount of ginger extract may vary from the original formulation.
  2. Natural flavors: Along with ginger, Vernors incorporates other natural flavors to enhance the overall taste.
  3. Carbonated beverage: Vernors is a carbonated soft drink, which gives it the familiar effervescence that many people enjoy.
  4. Vanilla undertones: One of the distinguishing features of Vernors is its subtle vanilla undertones, which add an extra layer of flavor complexity.

Flavor Profile of Vernors

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Vanilla undertones

One of the key elements that sets Vernors apart is its subtle vanilla undertones.

These undertones add a smooth and sweet note to the beverage, complementing the bold spiciness of the ginger.

The combination of these flavors creates a unique and satisfying taste experience that many people find incredibly enjoyable.

So when you crack open a cold can or bottle of Vernors, be prepared to savor not just the fiery ginger flavor but also those delightful hints of vanilla in every sip.

In addition to its signature spicy and vanilla flavors, Vernors has become cherished by many because it brings back memories and has a loyal following among Detroiters who are obsessed with this fizzy drink.

However, it’s important to note that while Vernors does contain natural ingredients like real ginger extract, it is not considered a cure-all for upset stomachs like some traditional remedies claim.

Misconceptions about ginger content

There are some misconceptions about the ginger content in Vernors that need to be clarified. Many people believe that Vernors doesn’t contain real ginger because it lists “natural flavors” on the ingredients label.

However, this is not true. The original recipe for Vernors did indeed use real ginger, and while the current formulation includes natural flavors, it still contains a significant amount of ginger extract.

So, rest assured that there is genuine ginger in your favorite spicy soda!


In conclusion, Vernors does have real ginger in it. The original recipe included actual ginger root, and while the current formulation may use natural flavors, it still contains ginger extract for that signature spicy flavor.

So if you’re looking for a tasty ginger soda with a hint of history, Vernors is worth a try!