The first mistake you can make as a summer gin and tonic drinker is to assume that just because it comes in a plastic jug with a gold label- that it tastes the same. Or at least like every other brand that seems to come in a plastic bottle with a gold label.
They’re not all created equal. In fact, there can be some quite significant flavor variations among them. Some are super sweet. Some emphasize the quinine. Some are cloying and fake. Others are pretty decent.
Gold Emblem tonic is the store brand for the drug store CVS. Sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, its ingredient list doesn’t look too different from most plastic tonics.
The taste is a lot more subtle and scaled back than other tonics. Mildly sweet and only moderately fizzy the flavor is quiet. The requisite bitterness and quinine touch comes at the end, only subtle. It has a slightly acidic, almost citrusy tang too. Slightly lemon, but not discrete. It has that dry flavor, but not much of the quinine flavor. In fact, although it doesn’t have too much flavor, it does differentiate itself from a club soda, but not by much.