My lovely compatriot and I are fond of dinners that we call “the mush pile”: a blend of vegetables, grains, and soy-based protein cooked in a single pot. The key to making sure that dinner is perennially interesting and not insanity inducing (cf Chinese Water Torture) is to cook with an array of tasty sauces from the cuisines of Asia, the Caribbean, and the Indian subcontinent.

Reeds Ginger Brew from FairwayOur refrigerator door was nearly empty of sauces, and so yesterday we took a long walk down to Red Hook, Brooklyn to the wondrous grocery paradise known as Fairway.

For San Francisco Bay Area readers of LovesGingerAle, Fairway is equivalent to Berkeley Bowl. The produce is cheap and gorgeous, the cheese is exotic and abundant, and the place is generally mobbed unless you go there off-hours.

Before selecting any new sauces, we made short work of the hot salad bar (Mini Review: surprisingly blando, esp. the macaroni and cheese, spinach pie being a notable and quite tasty exception).

I attempted to grab a Reed’s Ginger Brew before checking out, but the lone bottle was on a high shelf and I am quite short—too short to reach it. My lovely compatriot, who is smashingly tall and normally attends to those tasks that I am too munchkin-like to perform myself, had already completed his transaction and awaited me outside. Fortunately, a nearby cashier noticed my dilemma, and came to my rescue using the powers vested in him by normal human male height.

Ginger ale safely in hand, we enjoyed our meal by the water of New York Harbor, in view of that great green lady known as the Statue of Liberty.

Gingeryness: very good. Real ginger. Not pickled sushi-ginger. Ginger root ginger.

Fruitiness: Very noticeable. Plum-like.

Bubbliness: Good. Normal.

Dryness: Not dry. Oh, not at all.

Sweetness: And here is where we come to the real rub of Reed’s. It is so sweet. Candy sweet. Diabetes-inducing sweet. In order to be The One True Ginger Ale to Rule Them All, there must be some bark, some dryness, and some punch to it!

Little Bits: Entirely bit-free.

The “X” Factor: Not present, at least not yet. I see promise in that distinct sloe-flavor though.

Price: $1.29 at Fairway. Fairway! The gift that keeps on giving!

Overall: 5.5 out of 10

So sweet. Ah, but tell me something I couldn’t learn from a sugar bowl! In fact, I voted this a 7.5, while my lovely compatriot scored it a 3. Our compromise vote is 5.5. Keep trying, Reed!