I used to think I was a tonic water snob because I was hopelessly devoted to Schwepps. There is something about Canada Dry’s cloyingly sweet, glue-like flavor that makes it vastly inferior to the one John Cleese used to pimp. However as I trudged down the endless rows of food and drink and food and drink and food and drink at this year’s Fancy Food Show, I learned that I had not even begun to understand how snobbish I could get.

Last quarter’s Imbibe Magazine had a recipe detailing how you (yes, you!) could brew your own tonic water. A process which, as CHOW blogger James Norton noted, seemed excessively time consuming just to squeeze out a puddle of brown water that dirtied up your gin and tonic. However, the piece is a testament to the fact that people are getting just as sniffy about their mixers as they are about their high-end alcohols. After all, if you are banging down top dollars for Hendrick’s, Van Gough, or Grey Goose, why taint their delicate flavors with heavy-handed, overly-sweet mixers?

No good reason, I slur. And this is why I am currently obsessed with Fever-Tree‘s line of tonic water, ginger ale, and bitter lemon. Previously available only in the UK (Fever-Tree’s managing director is Charles Rolls, the former owner of Plymouth Gin) these minute bottles of sublime refreshment will soon be poured into a cocktail near you. In fact, I have it on good authority that California’s favorite liquor superstore, Beverages & More!, will be stocking Fever-Tree by the end of this month.

In a taste test performed under the most scientific of conditions — there was a control group and everything — it was unanimously determined by a blind panel that Fever-Tree’s light, clean, and sharply bubbled flavors blew my previously favored Schwepps clear out of the tonic water. Next to Fever-Tree, Schwepps tasted heavy, fake, and sugary. While the ginger ale is still not equal to my preferred ginger beer, the Fever-Tree bitter lemon also put its Schwepps counterpart to shame.

Drink deep, my fellow tipplers, drink deep.

  • haddock

    When I was a drinker I used to guzzle gin and soda. I hated tonic water, but used it to my advantage. At a crowded bar bout 25% of the time I ordered a gin and soda I would get gin and tonic. I could smell it well before it got my lips. I would gulp down as much as I could in one go and after swallowing say loudly, “Ugh, that was tonic water, what are trying to do kill me?”

    This sometime resulted in a free drink, but always resulted in the free gin that I was able to get down along with the tonic.

    Suffice it to say, I no longer drink.

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