Firstly, some of you might recognize this as a store brand of tonic. And you might wonder “why on Earth would I be reviewing this?”
To that I shake my head. If you ignore store brands, you miss out on some surprising things. Write off store brands, and you write off the actually-pretty-good 365 Tonic Water from Whole Foods. So naturally, after having this tonic at a party the previous weekend [while I was drinking mind you- it was the house tonic in the party tent] I thought I would give this previously overlooked tonic its due and I quickly picked up two bottles…. At the price point of 79 cents, how could I go wrong?
Let Me Count the Ways
Firstly its a bit too sweet. Although there is requisite quinine in here, there’s a bit of a mouth puckering syrupy-sweet note, vaguely reminiscent of store brand colas, in the way that the don’t have the “bite” or “sharpness” that Coke or Pepsi do. It tastes less carbonated [and this was the first serving] than similar inexpensive tonic waters.
I should say that in tonics that cost less than 2 dollars per liter [Canada Dry, Schweppes, Polar, etc] I don’t expect complexity, depth, or even balance.
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Though I have already reviewed so-called store brand tonic waters, I wanted to call out one in particular which does a great job of replicating some of the features of the top-shelf tonics like Q Tonic and Fever Tree.
It’s made with real cane sugar and while it doesn’t boast chinchona bark like Fever Tree, the cane sugar makes this tonic taste less syrupy sweet, especially when compared to brands like Canada Dry and Schweppes.
Overall, the quinine flavor seems well balanced and the flavor is not overpowering. I think that the Whole Foods 365 Everyday tonic water goes really well with a nice London Dry or other clean tasting gin.
It’s likely not going to change your world but at a price point significantly lower than the other top-shelf tonics, you can have a great cane sugar sweetened tonic without breaking the bank.
Price: $2.99 for 6 cans
Best consumed: In pretty much any gin and tonic
Availability: Whole Foods
Rating: A solid option for the anti-HFCS crowd and a good option for those who want a less sweet tonic water
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