The Clean Collective is a New Zealand based boutique beverage company who is focused on creating “clean” cocktails. They tell their story as beginning “after struggling to find any premixed drinks in our local liquor store that weren’t loaded with tons of sugar or artificial crap.” I hear that. Clean Collective Gin and Tonic is among a handful of “clean” RTD’s they produce as of 2019.
Another thing that really helps them stand out is the unusual bottle design. It’s striking. It’s beautiful, and it tells the brand story at a quick glance. The only downside is that when I saw it in the store— I didn’t recognize it as an RTD. Even though it was right next to the others!
The nose of Clean Collective Gin and Tonic is whisper quiet. Almost cleaned of all aroma. A slight herbal note is there if you really look.
The fizz is tight and small. The bubbles have good lasting power too, popping and holding even into the back of the palate.
Early, Clean Collective Gin and Tonic has jammy citrus notes. Lime marmalade with vanilla undertones. Resinous juniper lends a background gin character.
A lime/cream soda note is complemented with a heavy quinine that segues into the late peak of metallic sweetness. This is where things become a bit more chalky, with the flavor taking on this calcium mineral flavor with hints of talc.
Overall, Clean Collective Gin and Tonic
There are very few offerings for those looking for genuine “no added calorie” RTD’s (alcohol has calories, so it’s not a zero calorie drink). Unfortunately, I think the choice of Erythritol amplifies some of these undesirable flavor combinations. I don’t necessarily think it works well with quinine, as the bitterness clears the palate right before the sweetener kicks in. If there was a flavor there— say citrus for example— it reads more clearly to the brain as an unusual, but still sweet fruit. Here— you’re getting the full hit of the Erythritol.
Fans of classic gins will find Clean Collective Gin and Tonic a shade light on juniper and gin character.