I had never really heard of Ale-8 (formally ale-8-1) growing up in Central Kentucky. Maybe I heard it mentioned here and there, but I never really knew of its cult-like following.
I moved to Lexington, Kentucky to attend college and was instantly made aware of Ale-8. What was this mystery drink? Was it an alcoholic beverage? Was it some strange concoction of potions? I had no idea!
I decided one day to purchase Ale-8 at the Kroger on Euclid Avenue (that Kroger could probably have its own blog post). I learned from several people that you can't drink Ale-8 from cans, you must drink it from the old school long neck bottles.
At this point I was expecting it to taste like butterflies, rainbows, and gold all bottled up! I took my first sip and waited for the magic to happen. Meh. I remember thinking, "is this what people are so obsessed with?" Personally, I just wasn't a fan.
So what is the mystery drink that so many Kentuckians are obsessed with? Ale-8 was formulated and invented in Winchester, Kentucky by G.L. Wainscott in 1926. It is a form of gingerale, but made with more caffeine and less calories. Perhaps the caffeine aspect is why so many people love it?
Ale-8 definitely has a cult-like following in Kentucky, especially around Lexington. I can remember seeing a facebook group as a college Junior that was titled, "Ale-8 PLEASE HOOK TO MY VEINS".
Ale-8 is mixed with one of the several Kentucky Bourbons to make a signature drink, "The Kentucky Cocktail". Perhaps I could get down with that.
So tell me, have you all tried Ale-8? Did you like it?