I loved Tonic Water. Almost as much as I love gin. Only almost.
And for a man who loves tonic water, one of the saddest parties that I feel like I’m missing out on is the Tonic explosion of Europe, Spain in particular. A beverage which here in the states most are willing to accept as a plastic bottles, saccharine sweet and pretty much absent of any bitterness, is seeing a vast expansion overseas of artisan care, attention to ingredients and importantly, how the end result mixes with vodka, other spirits, but most importantly gin. Of course when the fine folks who distribute 1724 offered to send me a sample, I graciously accepted. And have since been at work diligently putting it to work with my vast stocks of gin. So how is 1724 tonic? Can it live up to the hype?
Starts very clean, crisp and refreshing almost nothing: a touch of effervescence. Nice character because this is exactly where your gin shines brightest. It really allows a gin to come through strongly on the first taste, and the tonic comes in second, mellowing and offsetting: the sweetness builds in the middle. Bright like a fruit salad in the summer, faintly melon, sweet orange candy, all the while a gradual bitterness builds. It comes to a meek crescendo, bitter and palate cleansing like quinine should be, but not overwhelming. The sweetness lingers only faintly on the finish, allowing your closing notes of the gin to take shape and unravel, though slightly colored by the dash of remaining sweetness. Overall, quite nice.
With gin, I find the bitterness to be slightly more pronounced than it was neat. But in general, I think its flavorful enough to evoke an opinion from the drinker, but no bold enough to overwhelm the end result. I could see this working as a great coloring for a vodka and tonic, creating a subtle flavored soda, but as far as a gin and tonic, it has bold notes at exactly the right time, and quiet notes exactly at the right time. It might do a nice job of sugar coating gins with muddled mid-notes, but overall, I found it to do an excellent job of highlighting any gin I put into it.
Unlike the Spanish gins which are sometimes far outside the ken of the average gin drinker, this Spanish tonic adds some novel notes without straying too far from the expectation. It’s a good tonic water that has been built to highlight your gin. I highly recommend this tonic water, if you’re so fortunate as to live in Europe where it is available.
Price: £9/6, 20 cL bottles
Best consumed: Mix with almost any gin, in your standard G&T ratio. Lime or other citrus is not necessary because the tonic brings with it a dash of citrus as it is. But I’d garnish with something a bit more sour for balance, lime or grapefruit.
Rating: Crisp and refreshing. Sweet and bitter in the midnotes, with an open-ended effervescent beginning and a crisp clear finish which allows gin to shine. Overall, highly recommended.