The Shasta company was founded in 1889 as a mineral spring water company. Shasta didn’t make soda until 1931 when it launched a ginger ale. During the 1950’s Shasta aggressively expanded and became a ubiquitous soda brand in the Western United States.
Shasta produces more than thirty varieties of soda, with Shasta Tonic Water being one of them.
Shasta Tonic Water has two sweetening agents: sucralose and high fructose corn syrup. It also has about 80 calories per 10 oz. serving.
Pleasant, but quickly dissipating fizz when poured. The nose is clean and almost neutral with a very slight citrusy aroma.
On the palate, it has a rapid medium textured fizz on the initial entry. Shasta Tonic Water then has a rapid onset of slightly metallic quinine flavor. Moderately sweet, it’s certainly sweet— but not as strong perceptively as some other inexpensive tonic brands. After the mid-palate, the quinine becomes less metallic and takes on a much cleaner zing.
The finish is gently bitter and quite long lasting.
I mixed the Shasta Tonic Water with some new formulation G’vine Nouasison. The mid-palate generally left a good amount of space for the gin to shine, while the bitterness on the finish was just the right amount.
The sucralose character is nicely disguised and buried by the quinine notes. You probably wouldn’t notice it at first taste, unless you had read the label beforehand.
Overall Shasta Tonic Water beats out several other inexpensive brands in terms of flavor and moderating the sweetness. It’s a solidly okay option at its price point. But in a market increasingly saturated with higher quality brands using fewer sweeteners— it’s hard to recommend it too strongly.