Indian Tonic Water made in India? It’s rarer than you think. Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water is made by New Delhi based Bengal Bay Drinks.
They source their quinine from Peru (it doesn’t grow easily in India); however many other flavoring ingredients from the cane sugar to the citrus are sourced locally.
Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water is 28 calories per 100 mL serving.
There’s a fat-sized bubble, roaring effervescence when poured from the bottle. Immediately I get notes of cardamom, ginger and orange. Flavor-wise, Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water is a stand out on the nose.
Sipped, gentle spice comes on early, but by the mid-palate it’s more about that classic tonic water mouthfeel.
Pleasant, almost full texture from the bubbles. It becomes a bit dry mid-palate where citric acid and a very, very modest sweetness meet a dry, slightly astringent quinine note.
Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water has a moderately long astringency on the finish.
Gin and Tonic
I mixed Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water with Askur Yggdrasil Gin. It adds a pleasant cardamom and bitter orange note early, which is gorgeous and restrained— the gin’s juniper remains the star.
But I’m struck by the nearly invisible ways that throughout the tasting that Bengal Bay Tonic elevates the gin.
The sweetness— restrained and present.
The bitterness? Far milder than many other craft gin and tonics. It’s not missing, you definitely taste it. What really sets it apart is the clean flavor profile it achieves. There’s no metallic notes or overt astringency.
On the finish, a faint citrus flavor comes through. Unlike the entry on the palate, it doesn’t literally shout its name. Clean, lemon and citric acid— just enough for a bite.
Overall, Bengal Bay Indian Tonic Water
This tonic Water isn’t without a point of view. Sipped on its own, the elegant flavor is there. But mixed, especially with a nice classic style gin, the balance of sweet, bitter, citrus, effervescence, and astringency are all there and content to support the gin without ever upstaging it.
I’m highly impressed. Bengal Bay have hit a home run that will delight fans of tonic waters with less bitterness.