Launched in 2007, Fentimans Tonic Water is a stalwart on the botanically flavored tonic water scene. It has an organic grain base, which is then flavored with lemongrass and quinine bark. It was known for the fact that it included its own botanicals. Fentimans Tonic Water rightly could be described as a tonic water you might drink on its own. The added flavors make Fentimans almost a soda in its own right.
But also since the first time we reviewed Fentimans tonic, the lemongrass isn’t all that unusual in gin period. As the gin community has opened up to lemongrass as a gin botanical, I think it’s also opened up to botanicals in their G&T.
Clean and refreshing on the palate. At first the lemongrass comes across as a bit more citrusy, mellowing out as the quinine and bitterness refreshes the palate. Lemongrass on the finish. Subtly sweet, it’s gentle and not cloying in the slightest. I would definitely drink it on its own.
The bubbles are medium sized and have a pleasant texture; however they dissipate quickly. The fizz in Fentimans Tonic supports the botanicals rather than obscuring them.
Fentimans Tonic with Gin
Citrus is a natural pairing with gin therefore the citrus notes from Fentimans Tonic are rarely unwelcome. I’ll say that I do find its overall effect slightly more lemony than lemony and herbal, especially with botanically complex gins.
I think its at its best dressing up a gin lacking in flavor or adding a slightly contemporary note to a more classic gin.
That being said, Fentimans is a good tonic water. People who like it will like it because of the pleasant effervescence and crisp bitter finish with a balanced sweetness. People who don’t like it will think that it distracts too much from the gin.
Fentimans Tonic costs about $9 for a package of four 200 mL bottles (available at Amazon).