I'm not one to brag, but when it comes to premium tonic waters, KegWorks has the best selection available. I'm thrilled that we're not the only ones who realize that while tonic is good in general, GOOD tonic is simply incredible. If you ask me, there's no better way to celebrate summer than relaxing on a deck, patio, or boat with a crisp, refreshing gin and tonic (or vodka and tonic), made the right way, with the right tonic.
Most tonics served at bars and sold in grocery stores are loaded with artificial ingredients and high-fructose corn syrup. When it comes to top-quality tonic waters, we've got options. Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water blends spring water with handmade, cold-pressed oil from Tanzania, cane sugar, and natural quinine from a farm near the Rwanda-Congo border. Q-Tonic is made from hand-picked Peruvian quinine and Mexican agave. Fentimans is botanically brewed with all-natural ingredients and the sharp flavor of ginger to create a perfect balance of bitter sweetness.
We asked our unbiased friends to try them all and let us know what they like best. All of the tonic waters were tasted chilled in a 3:1 ratio with Grey Goose Original Vodka in a 12-ounce glass with four ice cubes. Their official tasting notes are below.
- "The least carbonated of the three."
- "Clean, not overly sweet, with a dry finish."
- "Uncomplicated, and lets the flavors of the vodka shine through."
- "Possibly a bit undercarbonated."
- "Soft citrus fruit undertones with no aftertaste."
- "This is the tonic for people who want the flavor of the vodka to be the star."
- "Don't mix with rotgut vodka."
- "Citrus fruit bomb, almost resembles a lemon-lime soda with a shot of grapefruit juice."
- "Full bodied, with some herbal notes in the background."
- "Some slight sour notes on the swallow, after the taste buds have done a little dance."
- "May be good at hiding the off flavors of cheap vodka."
- "The most well-balanced of the three."
- "A restrained fruitiness, almost seltzer-like."
- "A bit prickly on the tongue, but very balanced."
- "Good aftertaste without being too sweet or cloying." "
- "Mouthfeel is a bit slick."
- "A clean, uncomplicated tonic with a finish that is just dry enough to do the job."
- "Best of the three."
So, the consensus was that the Fever-Tree was our #1, followed by the Q, then the Fentimans. The Fentiman's tasted a bit too much like a citrus soda than it did a tonic water, and you might not want to drink lime/lemon/orange/grapefruit flavored vodka with it. The Q was the most unobtrusive of the three, where it in no way would interfere with the flavors of whatever vodka you're drinking. The Fever-Tree was the best, we felt that it would go with gin as well as with vodka. Either way, all three were a hell of a lot better than supermarket crap.
Grab a Premium Tonic Water Sampler Pack with 2 bottles of each brand, try them all and let us know what YOU decide.
*Disclaimer: The following opinions are simply that, opinion. Every taste bud is different! Should you disagree with our conclusions, simply comment and let us know what you think. We're all about discussion and great drinks. Cheers!