In 1905 Thomas Fentiman received the recipe for a ginger beer as collateral. Over a century later, the Fentimans brand has a whole range of sodas and tonic waters. Fentimans’ tonics are more herbal than others and almost all of them are delicious as sodas on their own. But with gin, they can be assertive, challenging and maybe even overpowering.
Fentimans 1905 Tonic Water is fermented with added botanical extracts.
The nose with hints of Pez candy, strawberry, lime, orange cream and vanilla. The drink is cloudy with a slight green-yellow hue.
Fentimans 1905 Herbal Tonic is sweet early with sourness growing, and escalating, towards the finish. Sweet orange and lime notes mid-palate. Then ginger, lemongrass, and tart slightly acidic lemon. The lemon grows in tartness. There’s a gentle note of quinine; however, it’s quite subtle.
No mater the gin, Fentimans 1905 Herbal Tonic overpowers. The notes of hyssop and citrus overshadow many of the notes from the gin. Leave out the citrus and keep the fancy garnish at home. There’s enough on the nose and in your G&T to illuminate both your sense of smell and taste.
Gin lovers will likely find that Fentimans 1905 Herbal Tonic wants to be the star and that it’s best for jazzing up ordinary gins or adding excitement to one note gins. If you have a gin that you really want to taste the botanical blend, Fentimans 1905 Herbal Tonic is not the right tonic for the task.
Great soda, great flavor, but not great in terms of a balanced G&T. I’d much prefer drinking this on its own, but for my next Gin and Tonic I prefer Fentimans Original.
Fentimans 1905 Tonic Water is available from Amazon in the UK and will run you about £7.50 for 4 bottles.