Episode 3: Does Good Tonic Water Make a Difference?
The Gin & Tonic is not a cocktail, but for so many, it’s a gateway to the real deal. At least, that was the case for me. I’ll never forget the first time I ordered it. Back as a poor college student, Thursday nights at Thirsty Dog were a huge hit with their 50¢ pitchers (!!!). It was rare to see anyone drinking anything other than the swill coming from the "Bud Light” taps (hint: it was not Bud Light). But one night I was feeling a little daring, so I decided to switch it up. I’d seen my dad and his friends order G&Ts countless times, but it seemed like such an old man drink. But one sip of this puckery punch and I was hooked. It was floral, bitter, sweet, really everything that makes a good cocktail! And best of all, still being in college mode, it glows in blacklight.
Fast forward a decade, and like the rest of the cocktail movement, gin and tonics have gotten a facelift. Sure, you can still find your run of the mill G&T at a dive bar and it’s wonderful, there are now craft tonic water alternatives with natural ingredients and fewer calories.
So the question must be asked: Do these craft tonic mixers actually make a difference in the taste of the drink?
To start off, I want to be clear about this test. If you’re simply looking for a more natural tonic water, then look no further than the artisan tonics. You’re going to get the natural sweeteners and won’t find any preservatives. (other than citric acid which is naturally occurring). This test is all about the flavor of the final drink.