Red Bull Tonic Water is one of several non-caffeinated/non-energy-drink soda releases by Red Bull. In 2018, the initial launch included a tonic water, a cola, ginger ale and Bitter Lemon.
Check out our review of Red Bull Bitter Lemon.
Many soda brands have taken note of the expansion of the mixer category. Fever Tree’s success is one that many established companies have sought to emulate. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that as Red Bull’s young, extreme-sports-loving audience grows up that they might look to the iconic cans when mixing drinks.
Firstly, Red Bull eschews the traditional yellow— instead opting for a teal/cerulean colored can for its tonic water. Secondly, Red Bull Tonic water is not clear. It has a slight amber/golden hue to it— reminiscent of champagne. And finally, Red Bull Tonic Water uses both cinchona and quassia to achieve the bitter note.
Sweetening is handled by sugar, but there’s also lemon juice concentrate [the same core ingredients as their bitter lemon]
Poured, there’s a great deal of effervescence, which forms a noticeable head on the tonic water for just a moment.
The nose of Red Bull Tonic has hints of ripe raspberry, lemon zest, and even a hint of celery. It’s unusual for a tonic water. It seems clear that it’s going to have more flavor and unique character than other tonic waters you might have.
The palate is a bit more traditional in approach. A part, subtle tartness of lemon comes on early. Red Bull Tonic has a moderate sweetness mid-palate which brings in a finish of orange and lemon zest— then a dull, but durable bitterness. I find that the combination of quassia and cinchona produces a long lasting bitterness; while the quassia is less strong in terms of its bitterness.
On its own, Red Bull Tonic has some character of a very gentle bitter lemon soda, but overall represents nicely as a tonic water.
Radoune Gin and Red Bull Tonic
Red Bull Tonic adds a lovely hint of brightness early on. It reminds me a bit of the citrus note you get early from Hansen’s Tonic Water. But then it largely steps away mid-palate and let’s the gin shine through. Warm spice and unctuous, earthy notes occupy the center.
There’s a nice sweetness too that adds a lovely lift and texture to the gin. The finish is slightly bitter and just as long lasting as it was drank on its own.
However, the character of the quinine note is vastly different than many of the tonic waters on the market. Quinine in tonic waters can sometime have a metallic, crystalline sharpness to it. In Red Bull Tonic its subtle and stimulates the bitter taste buds without being in your face. It lets the finish of your gin shine as well.
Overall, Red Bull Tonic
Just as I said with the Red Bull Bitter Lemon— put away your expectations for what Red Bull can and can’t do. Red Bull Tonic water is a well made mixer that will appeal to a wide range of gin and tonic sensibilities.
People who like G&T’s but prefer a sweeter, but less bitter drink will find Red Bull Tonic Water to be the answer to their dreams.
If you prefer a more bitter tonic water, there’s other options that will better appeal to your sensibilities.
But overall, Red Bull Tonic is a good tonic and a welcome addition to the supermarket mixer shelf. Purists may sneer at the color, but I say don’t judge a G&T by it’s cover.