Gold Emblem Tonic Water

The first mistake you can make as a summer gin and tonic drinker is to assume that just because it comes in a plastic jug with a gold label- that it tastes the same. Or at least like every other brand that seems to come in a plastic bottle with a gold label.

They’re not all created equal. In fact, there can be some quite significant flavor variations among them. Some are super sweet. Some emphasize the quinine. Some are cloying and fake. Others are pretty decent.

Gold Emblem tonic is the store brand for the drug store CVS. Sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, its ingredient list doesn’t look too different from most plastic tonics.

The taste is a lot more subtle and scaled back than other tonics. Mildly sweet and only moderately fizzy the flavor is quiet. The requisite bitterness and quinine touch comes at the end, only subtle. It has a slightly acidic, almost citrusy tang too. Slightly lemon, but not discrete. It has that dry flavor, but not much of the quinine flavor. In fact, although it doesn’t have too much flavor, it does differentiate itself from a club soda, but not by much.

In short, it’s easier to recommend this tonic water over many other store brands, which have really sweet fake complexions. Not true here. Gold Emblem tonic water is mild, inoffensive, and in a pinch [and for the price] it gets the job done.

Price: 1L/$1
Best consumed: I wouldn’t use it for more expensive gins, but for a casual backyard BBQ, there’s worse options. Add a lime though for balance.
Availability: CVS Drugstores
Rating: I’d suggest going Canada Dry or Schweppes if it’s available, but this tonic is as inoffensive as it is bland. If you’re looking for an inexpensive backyard BBQ tonic that’s not too sweet and doesn’t have too much bite, this might be what you’re looking for. 

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7 thoughts on “Gold Emblem Tonic Water”

  1. I have tried many brands of Tonic Water (rightly or wrongly, for the quinine to help ease decades of leg cramps. Though, most all of them, including several well-known brands with much higher price tags have worked well for me, drinking any of those large bottles was something akin to eating spinach when but a young child – needed, but not enjoyed.
    Now, with Gold Emblem available from CVS (mine is, store # 7557) at a very good price, I actually look forward to drinking my daily dose of Quinine.
    So, my problem now is, my CVS runs out of it very quickly and I have trouble getting some before the others, who have discovered what I share above, have beat me to the shelves and cleared them out as if the apocalypse had already started.
    I check several times a week but, most often, in vain. Have mentioned this to different managers there and they say they will double the order. Well, if they do/did, they need to double that order also.
    I was saddened to find that I could not mail order this water product from CVS Online Store – but, I am sure, because of shipping/handling, it is not cost effective.
    Well, this submission was to be an endorsement of the product – not a diatribe of my own personal problems. It’s very good stuff. And, I don’t need no stinkin’ Gin to go with it!

  2. I love your product . It’s the best source of Potassium, Being diabetic and taking water pill meds. this saves me from leg cramps. But it’s hard to get around cause my disability. Is there a way I can order at least 4 cases at a time from you( hopefully it will be cheaper). If so please let me know. CVS said it can’t order large orders like this. But I can’t get around all the time. I’m very limited being partially blind. I can pick it up at a CVS near me. if have too.

  3. I can’t find CVS Diet Tonic Water. I prefer it over the regular.I started to use tonic water for leg cramps prescribed by my doctor and it works, I have since learned from other who use it that is nota rare suggestion of physicians for cramps. The quinine probably may have a lot to do with it effect on leg cramps. I have tried others and they do not have the taste of Gold Emblem. Hope it is not seasonal or discontinued.

  4. Do not like these new tiny cans instead of bottles . Also , why have you added more sweetner in new gold can of seagram tonic ? Not as refreshing as it used to be . thank you.