Refreshe is one of Safeway’s store brands. And Refreshe Tonic Water is incredibly inexpensive. At this price, it’s easy to see why it would be a popular go-to. But how does it stand up? It’s 90 calories/8 oz. serving, bittered with Quinine Hydrochloride salt and is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Poured, there’s a moderate amount of bubbles. Medium size, they adhere to the sizes of the glass primarily, only bubbling off slowly.
Quiet at first, Refreshe Tonic Water has a gradual, semi-sweet build that is pleasant and refreshing. The bitterness is extremely mild, but has a bit of metallic character to it. Its duration is only about medium length, leaving the palate slightly dried out. The fizz is surprisingly durable, even tingling at the back of the throat. Decent texture of medium sized bubbles the whole way back.
With gin, it’s a bit more of the same. It leaves some space, especially early on for the gin’s natural flavor to come through, and the finish adds perhaps just the right amount of bitterness. The bubbles are average, they do a good job conveying flavor and texture, while the sweetness is louder than some lower calorie options in the space, I think it hits the right balance for a supermarket tonic.
Refreshe Tonic Water is an average tonic water, largely buoyed by its inexpensive price tag. While standbys like Canada Dry and Schweppes are better, inexpensive tonic waters, Refreshe Tonic is better than a lot of the store brand tonics I’ve had.