Articles Tagged: Tonic Water

Tonic Water

Boylan Heritage Tonic


The Boylan Bottling company has teamed up with W&P design to elevate their line of sodas with the cocktail audience in mind. Boylan Heritage Tonic eschews the distinctive longneck bottles and throwback Boylan look and instead occupies a shorter, fatter bottle (like others, including Q Tonic in this space) and sports a simple, stylized, rustically designed bottle that looks exactly like it should belong in the cooler at your local cocktail joint. In short, they’ve hit the mark. It looks like a high end tonic. But how does it taste?

Tasting Notes

Soda like, with quinine and sweet orange zest on the nose, lemon-lime soda, the palate is clean and crisp, with a pleasant dry lemongrass and lemon-lime soda/7up sort of flavor, that gets drier and more bitter on the finish with quinine and bitter orange notes taking over.

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Tonic Water

Fever Tree Naturally Light Indian Tonic


Tasting Notes

On the nose, evident effervescence with a distinct touch of lemon/citrus. The palate is greeted with the signature Fever Tree burst of fizz, but when it clears, there’s not much else there. There’s only a tinge of bitterness and maybe a slight citric note. It’s clean, and has a touch of bitterness, but it just doesn’t deliver much on its own. It’s not wildly different from the flavor of their club soda, which while delivering plenty of effervescence, it just lacks in flavor and character.

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Other Thoughts

International Gin: Canada Edition

Hello friends.

It’s the gin wife, here today to speak about a recent vacation to Canada, and the gin-inspered fervor it inspired. (In Aaron, that is, I was more interested in all the flavors of chips and saying “Washroom” instead of “Restroom”.) We visited Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – you should as well, reader! They are fun places.

Poutine is delicious.

But it was on that trip that I realized the Gin Never Sleeps. The urge to seek out the locally made gins runs deep – so deep that I’m fairly certain in a week and a half we visited 6 liquor stores. (You are welcome, the tax gatherers of Canada. We support you.) We obtained five Canadian gins, which Aaron will be discussing in detail in the coming days: Ungava (which he has apparently already reviewed in the past, but now he has his very own big bottle), Prince Edward Island Gin, Shiver Gin, Lemon Gin, and Iceberg Gin.

There is no rest for the gin taster.

Until Aaron can fill you in on the details, I will give you a brief set of opinions on the gin from my very own, supertaster palette regarding the last three gins in the list.

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Tonic Water

Pinckney Bend Classic Tonic Syrup

Pinckney Bend Tonic Syrup

Here, two emergent trends in tonic collide: first, the trend towards tonic syrups: concentrated, sweet, herbal concoctions designed to be diluted with soda water before drinking. The second trend is that of “companion” tonics: that is tonics made by distillers, crafted in such a way that it perfectly compliments the spirit.

Pinckney Bend has designed a tonic to compliment their Pinckney Bend Gin. They are the only companion tonic syrup on the market right now, but others have pushed this idea forward in the past.

The Recipe

As you know by know, the “recipe” or ratios that are recommended vary from tonic to tonic. Here is Pinckney Bend’s:

1 part Pinckney Bend Gin 1 part Tonic Syrup 4 parts Soda water stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Thoughts: most tonic syrup ratios advocate for 2 parts of their gin. This is a case where “companion” should be taken quite seriously to understand. Their gin is a little stronger than most [93 proof] and has a good deal of heat. For companion purposes, I think this ratio works. For other gins, I’d suggest perhaps looking a bit closer to the 3 parts soda, 2 parts gin, 1 part tonic, that most bottles lean towards.

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Tonic Water

Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic

fever tree tonic bottle

Well folks it’s about time.

What you say? 

You’ve heard of this one before?

Unless you’ve been living under a gin and tonic rock, you know about Fever Tree’s quite excellent line of tonic waters, in particular their Mediterranean.

Supposedly, it’s designed to be the cleaner and more refreshing alternative, one that is design for vodka and tonic (what?!). I’ve heard many gin drinkers say that it’s among their favorites, and I’ve heard others describe it as the perfect pair for some of the wild contemporary flavors of Spanish gins in general.

In short, I’ve heard a lot about this tonic water. And now the fact that it’s easy to obtain via [there’s no affiliate link or anything, so don’t be so afraid of clicking] in the states, I’m excited to see if this is worth making a permanent addition to my home bar. My friend shared with me this bottle, so I’m excited to see what to make of this.

Taste of the Mediterranean

Tasting it on its own, one thing strikes you readily: the quinine isn’t so intense in here. It’s subtle. What hits me most strongly is the herbal flavor: lemon thyme, rosemary, and other herbs warmly greet the palate.

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Tonic Water

Strong Tonic


I can’t get enough tonic syrup. This is  by far the best trend to hit gin since gin became cool again.

Straight out of Oklahoma City.

I know, you probably didn’t think of Oklahoma as a hot bed of cocktail incubation. But this is what I love about the craft spirits thing. It’s everywhere. Really. This isn’t just a New York thing. Or a Seattle thing. This thing is going on everywhere. So although Oklahoma doesn’t have a gin yet [do you hear me Oklahomans? I’m anxiously awaiting. Call me!] our nation’s 46th state is contributing to the gin revolution in this country.

Okay, enough with the history you say! How does it taste?

So! How does it Taste? I’m going to reverse things up a bit here and talk a little about how it mixes first.

Strong Tonic advocates a recipe for G&T as followed:

    3 parts soda water 2 parts gin 1 part tonic syrup garnish with citrus

I found this to be an effective and quite good ratio. When mixed with gin, the initial thoughts were a “tad fruity,” “christmas and holiday spices,” “remarkably different than other tonic syrups.”

It makes a good G&T, a tad more sweet than other tonic syrups by volume hence the ratio above.

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Tonic Water

Gold Emblem Tonic Water


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.

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Tonic Water

Hansen’s Tonic


Hansen’s Tonic comes in the perfect sized can for a really tall Gin and Tonic – so immediately it gets points there. It has an attractive bright appearance, invoking a certain bright “citrusy” feeling right from the outset. This seems appropriate, as Hansen’s tonic has two important points of difference when looking  at its ingredients:

One, sugar instead of corn syrup. This is an important point of difference in the American market where most tonics opt for the high fructose corn syrup and the syrupy taste it imparts. Sugar is a little bit sharper, but equally as sweet.

Two, it adds citrus extracts right into the tonic syrup. This makes it somewhat palatable on its own, more akin to a bitter, only very slightly orange flavored soda. It’s a nice touch,  but not one which really makes or breaks it in a drink.

The citrus does add some nice notes, and helps with a) gins which don’t have strongly citrus notes or b) gins where you might not have added a dash of lemon or lime anyway. But if you’re the kind of person who prefers their gin and tonics without citrus, this might not be the right tonic for you.

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Tonic Water

Extra Frizz Tonica


Extra Frizz Tonica

Have you ever done a review in the dark before? I’ve been hunting the internet high and low, and I’m not 100% what the brand name of this tonic water is.

I’m only vaguely certain of two things. One, there’s a picture of Italy on the side of the bottle with the Italian flag colored in. I’m pretty certain that this tonic is Italian. Two, It’s tonic. It does have a bit [and not much, but more on that in a moment] of that bitterness that usually hints at the fact something is quinine. That’s where we are.

Our story begins When I walk into the Astoria Euromart with the express purpose of finding a case of this but as luck would have it the only “tonic” that I could find that they didn’t stock in every other grocery store in the states was this one. Extra Tonica. Effervescentement Tua. With a woman licking her lips in a way that seems more eerily sexual than it does delicious. But nevertheless, if it says Tonica on the bottle I will not be deterred.

Our Story Continues The sweetening agent in here is sugar.

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Tonic Water

Top 10 Tonic Waters

Tonic Water

This is something we’ve never done before, but have heard from our readers that they would like to see something like this. We’ve reviewed quite a few Tonic Waters, but which is the best?

Or more appropriately, which do we think is the best at this point in 2012? Let’s take a closer look. But unlike gin, we have some disambiguation in here. This list will contain syrups [which could use, but do not require soda water] and regular classic pre-carbonated tonic waters. So your mileage may vary depending on which you might prefer…

# LW 2W Title —

1 – – Todd Thrasher’s Tonic   If you’ve come around to Tonic syrups, then Thrasher’s tonic is worth seeking out. One of the best blends of flavor, herbs and sweetness. An easy favorite for me this year.Review Quote: “I’d say many tonic syrups are for people who already love the taste of quinine and rich herbal concoctions. Thrasher’s tonic, not so much. Its sweet, nicely balanced, and has an appeal that spans a wider array of drinkers.”  2 1 1 Fever Tree Tonic   Perhaps the best of the pre-carbonated tonics in my opinion.

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