In a rather nondescript, almost generic appearing bottle lies a tonic syrup crafted by one of the biggest names in the Virginia Cocktail scene: Todd Thrasher. On this blog, he’s probably best known for his partnership with Alexandria, Virginia’s PX.
Todd Thrasher’s syrup is available at Society Fair,a boutique food shop in Old Town Alexandria that he again helped open. It seems that everywhere you look in Alexandria, if you see fine cocktails or cocktail product’s, Todd’s name is on it.
Now on to the Syrup
A deep brown, almost root beer colored tonic syrup. The nose is sweet and citrusy. The taste is distinctly sweeter than most other tonic syrups out there and the bitterness rather muted, evolving and coming in towards the end of the taste on the back of the palette. There’s a bright floral quality here also, likely owing to the Lavender*. Crowd pleasing for sure. I’d say many tonic syrups are for people who already love the taste of quinine and rich herbal concoctions. Thrasher’s tonic, not so much. Its sweet, nicely balanced, and has an appeal that spans a wider array of drinkers.
If this tonic has a wider distribution, I think it has the potential to be a “breakthrough” tonic that might turn people on to exactly what a tonic syrup can be; it might break it out of the speakeasy bar back and into the mainstream. No need for sweetening, nor even a need for lime in a gin and tonic with this. It has those flavors already mixed in. My only reservation might be that it is a bit too sweet.
People who don’t like this syrup will probably find the sweetness a bit too intense, or even bordering on cloying. People who do like this will appreciate the way that the herbal, bitter, and earthy notes can be moderated. Unlike most tonic syrups which I think when mixes more closely approach the profile of “Q Tonic,” this tonic syrup when mixed with seltzer comes out more like a mainstream tonic water.
Overall, perhaps my favorite tonic syrup I’ve had so far. It does so many things so well, and although I’m a big fan of bitterness and herbal notes, sometimes you just want a relaxing “non-thinking” gin and tonic. This is the first tonic syrup I’ve had that I can think pull that off for a wide range of people.
Price: $12/~14 oz
Best consumed: Works well with any gin I think, I found its flavors best complimented classic style gins. Also quite good in a Gin and Tonic, no seltzer style.
Rating: Crowd pleasing, with enough herbs to appease those in sort of a more complex tonic, but with enough sweetness to appeal to the masses.
*Those of you who are fans of Thrasher might have seen his recipe for tonic published in the Washington Post. Let me assure you, this is most definitely a different recipe.