Before I tried a Finnish Long Drink, I was baffled by the grape tonic I saw on the shelves in Helsinki. After having the Finnish Long Drink, I got it.
Contrary to the name, the flavor is grapefruit and not grape. The color and opacity is similar to grapefruit sodas like Squirt.
Slight and only mild white grapefruit flesh on the nose. The palate is similar to sweetened white grapefruit juice with a touch of lemon rind. Towards the end there’s a mild dash of bitterness and an acidic grapefruit character. It’s certainly more grape than it is tonic, but both are present.
Decent fizz with moderate sized bubbles which dissipate rather quickly.
I enjoyed Grape Tonic, mostly because it allowed me to create a rough approximation of the Finnish Long Drink with a custom amount of gin. I found dialing the gin up to almost parity (1:1) created a nice balance of grapefruit and juniper; however, the fizz and bitterness wasn’t enough to carry it through. I’d suggest a more classic 1 part gin, 2 parts Grape Tonic, garnished with a lemon wedge to add a nice counterpoint to the grapefruit.
Nice balance, and a good make-your-own-long-drink option for those who prefer a little less convenience or want to make their own grapefruit and gin concoction. More fizz and more bitterness are what I was looking for; however, it does a good job within a very specific gin drink niche.