Taste Test: Tonic Water - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

The classic Gin & Tonic has seen a renaissance in recent years, and tonic water has experienced a similar revival, with grocery store stalwarts being joined on the shelves by specialty brands experimenting with creative botanical bills. Mix with your favorite gin (or cold-brew coffee for another recent summer fixture), or sip solo to enjoy the bittersweet complexity on its own. Here are five to try.

Boylan Heritage Tonic Water Famous for its line of nostalgic sodas, Boylan Bottling Co. collaborated with home goods company W&P to produce the Heritage Tonic Water. Clean and crisp, it’s an extra citrusy option with lemon, key lime, and bitter orange complementing the sweet-bitter balance, with just a hint of spice on the finish. $31.50/12-pack, boylanbottling.com

East Imperial Tonic Water New Zealand–based East Imperial recently expanded the availability of its excellent line of tonics and sodas. Made using an old family recipe with botanicals sourced primarily from Asia and Africa, this tonic is crisp and tart like a fresh green apple, with a lightly spiced bitterness and a pleasing Champagne-like fizz. $39/24-pack, eastimperial.com

Fentimans Traditional Tonic Water This tonic water is sweetened partly with beet sugar but remains pleasingly dry. The addition of herbs and botanicals, including juniper berry, lime leaf, and lemongrass, contributes to a complex yet balanced bitterness. $5.99/4-pack, totalwine.com

Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water A newer addition to Fever-Tree’s impressive lineup, the Aromatic Tonic has a lush botanical character that includes ginger, allspice, cardamom, and vanilla. Angostura bark lends a well-rounded bitterness (in the company of quinine), and it’s all delivered with big, bold carbonation. $2.29/per bottle, kegworks.com

Q Tonic Water The original from the Q line of mixers, the tonic stands apart with about half the sugar content of most other brands. Bracingly bitter, with a touch of spice and citrus zest, it’s sweetened with just enough agave to balance the quinine’s bite. $6.99/4-pack, bevmo.com

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