One of the first times that I remember hearing about ginger ale was when I heard this song back in my fourth or fifth grade year…
The line “I think sick like ginger ale” made little sense to me at the time, since I so rarely got ill when I was young (and even today). But, I wanted to reflect on it a little bit.
In 1998, my family flew to Milwaukee for the בר מצווה (bar mitzvah) of one of my cousins. We flew on Midwest Express (which is now defunct after having merged with Frontier Airlines). I remember three things that entered my mouth: gum, their famous cookies, and ginger ale.
Why the lattermost? I wasn’t feeling ill or anything, but Dad had recommended it as a drink. I liked it, since it somewhat resembled Sprite to me. Dad said it was his go-to drink when flying. At least it’s not alcoholic!
I rarely had ginger ale any time other than airplane flights until I got into graduate school. Not because I despised the flavor, but simply the circumstance. Again, the line “I think sick like ginger ale” never applied to me–on the rare occasions that I would ail (pun intended), tea was the more likely beverage of choice.
However, during late June through mid/late July, I had a ton of drainage in my system, which led to me being a real Keeper of the Phlegm (sorry, Martin Page). After two weeks of putting up with the annoyance, Dad had recommended anti-histamines (which I did not take) and ginger ale and other spicy/hot items.
Fortuitously, I had ginger ale as a non-alcoholic drink a few days later at the housewarming party for friends (yay for frequently teetotaling my way through parties and bars!)… in addition to sharing my blueberry cake there. Fun times! Drinking it indeed helped to break up the gunk in my system. And the ginger ale tasted good too!
And two weeks after, ginger ale was one of the beverages (in addition to grape juice and water) that I had at a friend’s Shabbat dinner… as part of travel.
So maybe I associate ginger ale more with air travel or times with friends than I do with illness. Who knows?
Oops… before I go, I should say that Dad has copper mugs at home, and introduced me to the wonders of drinking cold ginger ale in copper mugs. THAT tastes really good, as the copper brings out additional ginger flavor. But for now, I will avoid mules in Moscow… lest they bring “turbulence down on me!”
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