Polar Tonic Water

As if the Tonic Water party hasn’t gone on long enough, I have yet another plastic bottle tonic to review.

Polar is a sweeter, high fructose corn syrup tonic that occupies that middle ground as a safe tonic water stocked in most supermarkets. It’s not as low as you can go, and it’s not the best you can get. But it will get the job done.

I think it is the most subtle of the big 3 supermarket brands (Canada Dry and Schweppes being the other 2 and therefore, it might be hit or miss on most people’s palette. It’s not the most mainstream of them and therefore not likely the one you’d pick for a party, but its also not the most strongly quinine one and therefore less likely to appeal to the gin and tonic purist.

So where does it sit? Well, squarely in the middle. If you’ve ever had a tonic before, you’ll pretty much know what Polar has to offer. I don’t think I can say anything more on it.

Thought: I wonder if I did a taste test if I could actually tell the difference between the 3 supermarket tonics? Experiment time?

Price: $1.49-$1.69 / L
Best consumed: In any gin and tonic
Website: http://www.polarbev.com/
Availability: Any major supermarket that has a store brand
Rating: A middle of the road bottle you can find most anywhere

P.S. They also make Lime Tonic water.
P.S.S. Polar Tonic is also available at Amazon.

Last updated January 16th, 2011 by Aaron Knoll

3 thoughts on “Polar Tonic Water

  • July 15, 2013by Liz

    I’m not sure I have ever tried Schweppes tonic water (or if I have, it has been awhile.) But, I have been on a tonic water kick lately and currently have in my fridge Canada Dry, Polar, Fentimans, and Fever Tree “Naturally Light” Indian Tonic water.

    That’s as close as I can get to a taste test. Being from New England, I have always thought of Polar (based in Worcester, Mass.) as more of a northeast thing, but I guess it’s distributed more widely than that. In any case, Polar makes some of my favorite flavored seltzer waters and somewhat unusual sodas, such as orange dry and “half and half” (lemon and grapefruit.) They also have some very interesting specialty seltzers around the holidays (eggnog, chocolate mint, etc.) which are apparently not distibuted widely outside of New England, BTW. In any case, I expect to like their tonic water.

    I like my tonic water in single serve containers and this does come in 8 oz. cans, although I do prefer glass bottles and I have not found it in glass. But, if you have the opportunity, I would buy this in a can. To me, the flavor and carbonation is better.

    I rank this ahead of Canada Dry and almost on par with Fentimans, though I am aware that the ingredients are not as pure and “premium.” It tastes slightly more bitter than Canada Dry, and I consider that a good attribute for tonic water. If only Polar would sweeten their tonic water with cane sugar. All of the big 3 at least border on cloyingly sweet and I chalk that up to the high fructose corn syrup.

    As for lime in your G&T coming from anything other than a lime… well, I sometimes make mine with Tanqueray Rangpur and no lime, and it’s acceptable, although that gin in general is a bit too smooth and makes the whole drink taste a bit too much like Sprite or 7-Up. So, if anything, perhaps the citrus should come from the tonic water and one should keep the “bite” of a pure gin. But in a pinch, any lime or lemon-flavored tonic water or gin should do. Even plain old tonic water and plain old gin will do, too, of course!

  • August 31, 2015by Ness

    I tried this in the diet version — I do appreciate the small cans — but it is wretched!

  • May 7, 2016by Mark Orgel

    I find that in general, artificial sweeteners and alcohol don’t mix well.

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