Diet tonic water is a funny thing to me. Firstly, considering how many good high quality tonics are out there which have calories under 50 per serving [Q Tonic, the two Indian Tonics]. The market position of a diet tonic is clear to me. It is for folks who want a sweet gin and tonic, but they don’t want any calories.
Now, as a preface, I’ll ask: if you’re having gin [rife with calories] can’t you spare the extra 50 to mix it with a real tonic water?
Okay, but perhaps you can’t Perhaps you have a good reason. Let’s see what this diet tonic water has to offer:
Almost watery upfront, clean and club soda like. Fizzy with a bit of bubbles. The effervescence fades quickly to a slight dash of bitterness [this is in line with the non diet version of Canada Dry] and then that saccharine mouth puckering sweetness. It’s a bit drying on the palette, reminiscent of the way that Q Tonic or even Indian Tonics feel at the end of the taste; though I find a little bit of an acidic sweetness lingering on the back of the palate after tasting.
Canada Dry Diet Tonic is clearly made to work with gin if you like the flavor of the tonic. It doesn’t overpower, or overwhelm, simply offering a bit of a sweetening counterpoint.
I find that it becomes acceptable once you add some lemon or lime. If you go “James Bond style” and add an entire fruit, you can almost mask the notes of diet tonic water.
I should be completely honest with you. I’m not a fan of diet beverages, and I rarely drink them. That being said, even though I’m not crazy about artificial sweeteners, I have a hard time elevating Canada Dry’s Diet Tonic Water above “it gets the job done.” There are better options out there if you want low calories. I suggest giving Q Tonic a try, or even Fever Tree’s line of reduced calorie tonic waters. But on the same side of the coin, although I’m not crazy about it, there are actually even less successful tonics out there.
Price: $1.50 / L
Best consumed: Canada Dry Diet Tonic gets the job done, if you’ve acquired a taste for diet drinks, you might not even notice a difference. Lemon and lime help to cover the flavor of the artificial sweetener nicely.
Availability: Supermarkets everywhere, particularly in the Northeast where the Canada Dry brand is more common
Rating: It is what it is, no more and no less.