Last Updated on 11 months by Todd
There are a variety of different tonic waters on the market these days, all of which claim to be the best. So, which one is really the best?
- What is tonic water
- Best Tonic Water 2022
- Best Overall: Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
- Most Authentic: East Imperial Old World Tonic Water
- Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water – Best tonic water for gin
- Best for Bartenders: Q Mixers Spectacular Tonic Water
- East Imperial Burma Tonic Water – Best tonic water with quinine
- Best Light: Q Mixers Light Tonic Water
- Best Syrup: Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. The Tonic Trio
What is tonic water
Tonic water is simply carbonated water with added quinine and sweeteners. Tonic water was originally used as an anti-malaria beverage. Quinine came from the bark of the cinchona tree which grows in South America. By adding this special ingredient to their drinks, British colonists ensured they would not succumb to malaria while living in far off places like India and Africa where mosquitoes carry this disease.
Today there are many different brands of tonic waters available on grocery store shelves all over the world including Schweppes, Canada Dry, Q Club, Fever-Tree, and Fentimans.
If you like your tonic water with a little sweetness to it, then look for brands such as Schweppes or Canada Dry which come sweetened and offer less quinine than those that are unsweetened. This is because the added sugar offsets some of the bitterness of this ingredient. However, if you’re looking to maximize health benefits and minimize calories, then you’ll want to buy an unsweetened variety such as Q Club Tonic Water or Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. Either way, all provide unique properties needed by the body, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes.
Tonic water can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature as a soft drink, used as a mixer in cocktails, or enjoyed as part of a healthy beverage regimen. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon for added flavor and health benefits.
Best Tonic Water 2022
So, what is the best tonic water? It really depends on your individual preferences. However, all of the brands mentioned above offer great-tasting drinks that are low in calories and provide some health benefits too! So, why not give them all a try and find your favorite?
As you can see, there are many different types of tonic waters available on the market these days. It really depends on your own personal preferences as to which one is the best for you.
Best Overall: Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
The company Fever-Tree produces good tonics that you can mix with alcohol to make different drinks. One of these is the Classic.
All ingredients are from natural sources. They come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, the Ivory Coast, and Sicily. One of the most important ingredients is Premium Indian Tonic which is a must for G&Ts. It’s a straightforward option that is also high-end and readily available.
Most Authentic: East Imperial Old World Tonic Water
“I like this kind of tonic water,” says Seth Falvo, a bartender at The Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach, Florida. “East Imperial is the only modern tonic water that sources all of its key ingredients from Asia, just like the original recipes.”
In this century, people have started to put sugar in tonic water. East Imperial’s Old World Tonic has less sugar than a standard can of tonic water. It tastes better with gin.
While its low-sugar, low-acidity mouthfeel doesn’t make this drink appealing on its own, it does a fantastic job of emphasizing the nuances of your favorite gin instead of burying them, according to Falvo.
Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water – Best tonic water for gin
Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean flavors come from rosemary and lemon thyme from the Provence region of southern France. These ingredients combine to make a lighter, more subtle version of their Indian Tonic, which is excellent for mixing with vodka and gin.
“Fever-Tree is the industry standard for quality tonic—at least if you’re not going the extra mile to make your own,” says Gavin Humes, director of food and beverage operations for Scratch Restaurants Group. “I adore small bottles of Mediterranean Tonic because they make a gorgeous gin and tonic. It has excellent fizz and flavor, yet it also allows the gin to shine. ”
He says that he likes to put lemon in his drink instead of lime. He drinks gin and tonic with a twist of lemon.
Best for Bartenders: Q Mixers Spectacular Tonic Water
Q Mixers is a company that makes drinks. They are made with quinine from Peru and they are sweetened with agave. The drinks have elegant carbonation and they come in many different flavors.
“I like the Q Spectacular Tonic since it’s so bright,” says Jason Allmond, bartender at New Realm Brewing in Savannah, Georgia. “A lot of tonics are lately disappointing me or attempting to accomplish too much—infusing a variety of elements or things to make a tonic, well, less tonic-like. Q Spectacular avoids all of that and remains a bright fizzy tonic suitable for many different drinks.”
“To make a good highball, you’ll need five elements: excellent glassware, decent ice, a fresh garnish, a great spirit, and a decent mixer. The Q Spectacular Tonic Water is at the top of my list for a lot of reasons, but the high carbonation level is first on the list. All those bubbles ensure that your gin and tonic will be as fizzy as it was on the first sip.”
East Imperial Burma Tonic Water – Best tonic water with quinine
The Burma Tonic Water, like other East Imperial tonics, leans more toward quinine tastes than sugar. The Burma Tonic Water doubles up on the sweetness with twice as much natural cane sugar and the most quinine of any regular tonic water. To balance out the cane sugar and quinine.
East Imperial is the only tonic water I drink at home and we serve it to customers at our distillery. All of their styles have a good flavor and it has less sugar than other brands. The Burma Tonic goes well with traditional gins.
Best Light: Q Mixers Light Tonic Water
The Art of the Mixers’ Light Tonic Water avoids the sugar in favor of a combination that simulates the tastes of the classic Spectacular Tonic without including all of the sugar.
“If you want to make a drink that is better than just Gin and Tonic, then Q Tonic will let the spirit shine through. It has a dry flavor but it can also be used in many drinks.”
Natalia Cardenas, the beverage development manager for Breakthru Beverage Group in Illinois, likes Q Tonics too. When she uses it for her customers, she is always assured that they are tasting a cocktail that is better than any other one. It has real ingredients and less sugar than others on the market. I rely on it every time.
Best Syrup: Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. The Tonic Trio
So you’ve tried every variation of a gin and tonic—why not use different tonic syrups to express your creative side? These quinine-based recipes allow you to personalize your drink based on your own preferences. Each Jack Rudy’s product is handcrafted in small batches with care. You can purchase them individually or as part of a kit that includes all three of the brand’s signature tonic syrups: Elderflower, Extra Bitter, and Classic.
The actual advantage of the tonic syrup is that it may be used to alter the quinine concentration to suit your demands. One bottle provides 23 servings (give or take depending on how much tonic you like in your drink). Simply add it to soda water or your favorite spirit, and enjoy.