Blast From The Past: Canada Dry

5 years ago by in Blast From The Past Tagged: , , ,

There are many things that Canadians are known for around the world, whisky being one of them. But on the other end of the drink spectrum there’s another libation you’ll find the world over. It comes in a green bottle and rhymes with rye.

Canada Dry was first formulated in 1904 by Canadian pharmacist and chemist John J. McLaughlin. Why the dry? Because it was less sweet than other ginger ales on the market at the time.

Fun fact: The label and logo as it is now known replaced the original beaver label in 1907 when Canada Dry was appointed to the Royal Household of the Governor General of Canada. The beaver was also an already well known symbol of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Like many products, timing had everything to do with this ginger ale’s popularity. A year before Prohibition made the sale and consumption of alcohol illegal in the USA, McLaughlin began shipping the product across the border from Toronto to New York. In a time when consumption didn’t stop, but the need to hide it grew, Canada Dry is another way Canadians aided and abetted skirting around Prohibition.


Although Canada Dry is no longer owned by a Canadian company (it is owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group), it remains a staple mix behind every bar.

A Canada Dry Classic Cocktail:

The Canadian Cowboy

1 oz bourbon
1.5 oz apple juice
1 lime wedge
Fill with Canada Dry

Method: Fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Add bourbon and apple juice, fill with Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Squeeze in the juice from the lime wedge and you’re ready to roll!