So we reviewed the French version of Schweppes’ European tonic waters not too long ago. The difference between the two is wide: night and day.
The French version uses a glucose-fructose syrup. The British version uses sugar.
The British version has 150mL with a scant 22 calories. The French version boasts 54 calories for the same amount.
The French version has nearly twice the sugar [13 grams] as does the British version [7.7 grams]
And yet, despite being much less sweet, this version of Schweppes Indian Tonic doesn’t taste that much less sweet. It has some similar qualities: first, the quinine predominates. A fair amount of bitterness. But it doesn’t quite clean the palette in the same way that Q tonic does. Its a bit more acidic in quality, a bit more “dry.” The sweetness comes through even less in a Gin and Tonic, leaving lots of room for lemon or lime. When making cocktails with it, I even doubled up the lemon or lime to compliment the drink and round out the flavor.
The real sugar gives the drink a less syrupy character than the French version. I feel this one tastes “crisper” and “cleaner,” but perhaps a bit “more bitter” or an “acquired case.”
While I think its an excellent tonic that I wouldn’t be hesitant to recommend to a fan of gin, I can’t see it being too popular with those in search of something “sweet,” or to those who are big fans of supermarket tonics in the state.