& Tonic (And Tonic) is made in Seattle Washington and proudly declares itself as “quintessentially quinine.” Where it differentiates itself though is in the use of three different hand-peeled citrus: lemon, lime and orange.
The Cinchona is Peruvian red and the syrup is further sweetened cane. Additional non-disclosed spices are added to round out the flavor.
Poured on its own, & Tonic has an intense cinchona nose. Lots of wood, but also lots of lime and orange. Sipped, it’s pleasantly sweet. Woody cinchona early, with fresh cut cedar and slight neroli nuance. It’s neither overly sweet nor very bitter (unmixed).
Mixed 4:1 with club soda, & Tonic doesn’t change too dramatically. Citrus blossoms, with orange and orange blossom notes coming through. Lemon and lime are stronger and more prominent mid-palate and on the finish.
& Tonic recommends a 3:1 ratio of gin to tonic syrup, topped with club soda. I mixed it with some Wild Root Cucumber and Grapefruit Gin.
The intense cucumber aroma comes through, but on the palate it’s nicely complemented by rich orange rind and oily citrus. The slight bitterness on the finish lets the gin’s natural astringency come through. Overall, & Tonic does a nice job of sitting side by side with a gin and letting its botanicals come through.
Overall, & Tonic
In 2020, I think it’s fair to say that the tonic syrup craze is over. The market has thinned out and those syrups that have survived have done so by making balanced, accessible products with natural sweeteners and not going overboard with the cinchona.
& Tonic achieves all three.
If you’ve written off tonic syrups, & tonic might be the one to win you back. Paired simply with seltzer, it makes a good non-alcoholic drink. But further, it gives space for your gin to shine. It sits in the middle of the road on sweetness and a bit on the low end in terms of bitterness. Though some might like more quinine in their G&T, I find that & Tonic is an accessible syrup with potential for broad appeal.
Highly Recommended in its category.