Vendor Profile: Fresh Ginger, Ginger Ale

Fresh ginger, ginger ale

Asian food expert Bruce Cost began making ginger ale with herbs after he wrote his award-winning cookbook, “Ginger East to West” in 1985. In his cookbook, Cost traces the origins of ginger and its culinary journey around the world. In 1989, Cost opened the four-star Monsoon Restaurant (now closed) in San Francisco, where he first introduced his version of ginger ale to restaurant patrons. Soon after concocting a version of non-herbal ginger ale, the beverage became a regular menu item at Cost’s two other restaurants in the Bay Area – Ginger Island in Berkeley, and Ginger Club in Palo Alto, California. ┬áCost moved to the East Coast in 1995 and partnered with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago to start the Big Bowl and Wow Bao restaurants, which serves casual Chinese and Thai food.┬áHe brought along his recipe for fresh ginger ale, and the handmade beverage became an instant signature item. Since then, it has sold about 3 million drinks. Currently, he is partnered with TMI Trading in Brooklyn to bottle and sell his unfiltered fresh ginger to retailers and restaurants throughout the world.