Ed. Note— the name of this product may be offensive to some readers. I’m using the official name of the product because that is what it says on the label, but will refer to the ingredient by its more common name, Makrut Lime. For more on why I choose this terminology with gin’s international audience, Wikipedia has a broad overview of the term’s history.
About Bootleggers Lime Tonic
New Zealand based Bootleggers has been making craft mixers since 2011. Bootleggers Kaffir Lime Tonic Water takes a slightly less traditional take on the citrus flavored tonic water.
The makrut lime leaf if renowned especially in many Asian cooking traditions for its pungent, intensely aromatic green and citrusy flavor profile. The zest of the fruit is also used in some cuisines. Compared to the leaves, it’s astringent, assertive and unique. Both are used in Bootleggers Kaffir Lime Tonic Water.
The tonic has fat bubbles. It invokes a pleasant mouthfeel, but the carbonation is rather short-lived and highly concentrated at the beginning.
The aroma is savory. Hints of stewed celery, carrot broth, Italian parsley and oregano. I found it reminiscent of my mom cooking a Minestrone soup in the kitchen.
Sipped on its own, it retains a lot of that broth character. Murky vegetable and soup, with hints of burnt sugar and caramelized orange rinds.
The flavor of makrut lime leaves is one of my favorites. I love using it in cooking. However, unfortunately for Bootleggers Kaffir Lime Tonic Water, I expected a bit more with the flavor in its name.
Overall, Bootleggers Kaffir Lime Tonic Water
I wished that the makrut lime notes came through as fresher or brighter. Unfortunately, Bootleggers Kaffir Lime Tonic Water is mired in a vegetal, brothy sort of herbal that doesn’t lend the right kind of brightness I prefer in my gin and tonics.
Bootleggers Tonic Waters are available in New Zealand and online.