Betty Buzz is a brand of mixers launched by Blake Lively. Fans will know her best for her work in films such as Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Gossip Girl. Gin fans might know her best as Ryan Reynolds’ wife. Yes, the same Ryan Reynolds of Aviation Gin (and Deadpool).
In a way this might be the least surprising pairing in drinks history— one partner has a gin. The other makes a line of mixers, including tonic water.
Betty Buzz tonic is not named for the Taylor Swift song, Betty, which is influenced by Blake and Ryan’s daughter of the same name— but instead Blake’s father.
Betty Buzz tonic water itself is 50 calories per 9 oz. serving. It is sweetened with agave and adds quinine, citric acid and natural flavors.
Carbonation: Tight, small bubbles largely concentrated on the front of the palate. They dissipate quickly.
Aroma: Only slightly sweet with overt hints of quinine and lemon zest.
Flavor: Gentle baking spice warmth early on the palate leads into a very mild bitterness. The sweetness is present, but restrained. The finish has a distinct hint of “pumpkin spice latte” to me with a touch of vanilla and nutmeg.
The natural flavors in Betty Buzz tonic are distinctively different— and I kind of love it. There’s something warming in them, without being too literal. It invokes some of the best spice notes of a tonic syrup without some of the cloying or overwhelming bitterness.
I paired Betty Buzz Tonic with Ada Lovelace Gin and came away absolutely enamored with how some of the gentle warmth of the tonic perfectly complemented some of the floral and spice notes of the gin.
I didn’t have any Aviation Gin in house, so I can’t officially comment on that pairing.
Overall, Betty Buzz Tonic
I’m not sure if it’s merely the combination of agave and quinine, or the subtle use of novel natural flavors— but Betty Buzz does not taste like other tonic waters on the market. It truly tastes like its own thing, and it’s a refreshing new addition to a scene that has been pushing gin drinkers towards soda, lemonade or even cola.
The sweetness is mild, the bitterness is retrained, and it has enough character and flavor that you could drink it on its own as a soda. While some might think it veers a bit from tradition, I am elated to taste something that’s not simply an upscale Schweppes clone (not that there’s anything wrong with that). My only major critique might be that I wish there was a touch more carbonation and that it was more durable— for example hanging on to the back of the palate when sipped.
It’s one of the best new tonic waters I tried in a long time. I’d even say if you don’t normally drink your gin with tonic, I’d at least give Betty Buzz a try.