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.
Recommended, and quite excellent, albeit probably not for everyone.
Price: package of 24 cans, £10
Best consumed: Works well with most fins, but I’d suggest adding lemon or lime to compliment the quinine.
Availability:UK and Europe, perhaps an import specialty grocery in the states if you keep your eyes open.
Rating: For people who like a more bitter tonic but with a bit more sweetness than Q. Its on the bitter side of the spectrum, but not all the way over. Its more bitter than the French version, and less than Q. Overall, recommended.