Have you ever done a review in the dark before? I’ve been hunting the internet high and low, and I’m not 100% what the brand name of this tonic water is.
I’m only vaguely certain of two things. One, there’s a picture of Italy on the side of the bottle with the Italian flag colored in. I’m pretty certain that this tonic is Italian. Two, It’s tonic. It does have a bit [and not much, but more on that in a moment] of that bitterness that usually hints at the fact something is quinine. That’s where we are.
Our story begins
When I walk into the Astoria Euromart with the express purpose of finding a case of this but as luck would have it the only “tonic” that I could find that they didn’t stock in every other grocery store in the states was this one. Extra Tonica. Effervescentement Tua. With a woman licking her lips in a way that seems more eerily sexual than it does delicious. But nevertheless, if it says Tonica on the bottle I will not be deterred.
Our Story Continues
The sweetening agent in here is sugar. But it tastes oddly saccharine, almost two sweet and a little bit sour at the same time. The bitterness comes at the end, but rather mildly. I might be making an assumption, but based off of my comparison between the American Schweppes and the European versions, Tonics seemed to be a bit more bitter. This one seems to have the extra bitterness of European tonics, but that over saccharine character of American tonics.
I wish I could say the result was pleasing to the palette. It mixed with gin and make a clearly Gin and Tonic like character, but its hard to shake that puckering unpleasant sweet note from the beginning. I suppose not everyone might be as put off by it as I was, but I just seem unsettled by it. It adds a note that I don’t like all that much to my gin. It has a strong flavor. I think the best tonics let the gin shine. You’re going to taste the gin clearly, but a slight after taste of this tonic water will linger with you. In contrast with most tonics, its less clean and sprightly and more of a tangy sour bitterness in the back of your palette. So perhaps an acquired taste more so than other tonic waters? Or evidence of a completely different style in a different part of Europe. I’m not sure. This is my only example and the first time I had an Italian Tonic.
I think you can do worse in terms of Tonic, but for the price [1.99/200mL] I think there’s better tonics out there.
Price: $2/200mL [at least here in Queens]
Best consumed:Can use a little bit of citrus to offset its bitter character. Gin flavors do shine through, but it does add its own notes.
Availability:The Euromart in Astoria, Queens, NYC is the only place I can verify this tonic exists as of right now.
Rating: Mediocre, a bit too bitter, a bit too sweet, and never quite tonic enough for me. To each their own, but I think there’s better tonics on the aisle of my local supermarket.