Fever Tree’s Premium Indian Tonic Water— or more succinctly— Fever Tree Tonic is one of the first wave of “high quality tonic waters” that burst onto the G&T scene in the late 00’s and early 10’s. Now, well established, the Fever Tree brand has spawned a whole line of high quality mixers: a bitter lemon, a light tonic, and an elderflower and Mediterranean herb and botanical flavored tonic water.
But all of this is possible because of Fever Tree’s flagship Fever Tree Tonic. Sweetened with cane sugar and flavored with cinchona from East Congo, Fever Tree’s claim to fame in my opinion, was the quality of their carbonation.
Fever Tree Tonic often has a reputation for not being sweet. Or as sweet as the competition, but it’s important to note that Fever Tree’s Indian Tonic is far from a light tonic. 70 Calories in a 6.8 oz serving size compares favorably to the Whole Foods’ house brand in terms of calories. However, where they can’t compare is in terms mouth-feel. Fever Tree Tonic has the best mouth-feel of all the tonic waters I’ve had, and I find that the effervescence does wonders for delivering the gin aroma to the nose.
When pouring, Fever Tree Tonic’s bubbles absolutely erupt. They create a brief lasting head. Looking at it in the glass, you can see an immense amount of carbonation sticking to the bottom and sides of the glass. The nose is sweet orange and sweet lime, with minute bubbles dancing upwards still.
The palate is sweet with effervescent citrus at first. Fever Tree Tonic sits mildly on the palate before an assertive quinine and bitter finish. I find the quinine note in here to be a bit more rounded than others. It has delicate floral edges with no metallic notes to it.
With gin, the Fever Tree maintains its tight bubbles. They lightly amplify the aroma. Mid-palate, what tastes like a bit of a hole in Fever Tree Tonic on its own seems custom designed for the gin flavor to come through. The finish is a nice balance of gin’s notes and a gentle bitterness. I tried it with Seagram’s Gin; citrus notes with orange on the nose and juniper on the finish. In my opinion, there’s no better tonic for showcasing a gin than Fever Tree’s Indian Tonic.
Overall, it’s a well balanced tonic. Certainly detractors might comment on its sweetness; however, to me that’s part of the package. Quinine + Sugar + Effervescence = a good tonic. And fever tree hits all three marks. Even as I personally find myself moving towards less sweet tonics, I still look to Fever Tree as my gold standard in tonic water.
Fever Tree Tonic is available from Amazon, and available in grocery stores often for about $8 / 4 pack of 6.8 oz. bottles.