Gold Emblem Tonic Water

tonic-water-gold-emblem
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.

In short, its easier to recommend this tonic water over many other store brands, which have really sweet fake complexions. Not true here. Gold Emblem tonic water is mild, inoffensive, and in a pinch [and for the price] it gets the job done.

Price: 1L/$1
Best consumed: I wouldn’t use it for more expensive gins, but for a casual backyard BBQ, there’s worse options. Add a lime though for balanace.
Availability: CVS Drugstores
Rating: I’d suggest going Canada Dry or Schweppes if its available, but this tonic is as inoffensive as it is bland. If you’re looking for an inexpensive backyard BBQ tonic that’s not too sweet and doesn’t have too much bite, this might be what you’re looking for. 

 

 

Last updated July 24th, 2013 by Aaron

4 thoughts on “Gold Emblem Tonic Water

  • July 25, 2013by DTS

    “this tonic is as inoffensive as it is bland” – a charming turn of phrase. Really like the new site Sir.

  • July 25, 2013by AaronPost author

    Thanks David! I appreciate the kind words!

  • May 24, 2014by James Morton Kelly

    I have tried many brands of Tonic Water (rightly or wrongly, for the quinine to help ease decades of leg cramps. Though, most all of them, including several well-known brands with much higher price tags have worked well for me, drinking any of those large bottles was something akin to eating spinach when but a young child – needed, but not enjoyed.
    Now, with Gold Emblem available from CVS (mine is, store # 7557) at a very good price, I actually look forward to drinking my daily dose of Quinine.
    So, my problem now is, my CVS runs out of it very quickly and I have trouble getting some before the others, who have discovered what I share above, have beat me to the shelves and cleared them out as if the apocalypse had already started.
    I check several times a week but, most often, in vain. Have mentioned this to different managers there and they say they will double the order. Well, if they do/did, they need to double that order also.
    I was saddened to find that I could not mail order this water product from CVS Online Store – but, I am sure, because of shipping/handling, it is not cost effective.
    Well, this submission was to be an endorsement of the product – not a diatribe of my own personal problems. It’s very good stuff. And, I don’t need no stinkin’ Gin to go with it!

  • July 18, 2015by George Blair

    Finally. Somebody else who recognizes that crappy Tonic Water can ruin good Gin.

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