Looking for the best tonic water to go with your gin tonic? Read on to find the results of our Indian tonic water and flavoured tonic water taste test.
Originally used to prevent malaria because of its quinine content, tonic water is now the classic mixer to gin.
Ever wondered what tonic goes best with your gin? As premium gin continues to become more popular in the U.K and across the world, we have started to pay more attention to the tonic water we are using (read our expert guide to gin here).
We try 5 original Indian tonics and 5 alternative flavours to see if paying the extra money really does make all the difference…
How the tonic water taste test worked
Four members of the olive team conducted a blind taste test to find the most flavoursome shop-bought original and alternative tonic water. The group choose 1st and 2nd place winners for both types of tonics with the rest coming in as overall worthy runners up.
The results for best origianl Indian tonic water
The winner: Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic Water
About the tonic: Fentimans botanically brewed tonic water was first established in 1905. With no artificial sweeteners, flavourings or preservatives, this tonic water is made with natural botanicals and quinine.
Comments: This winning tonic was delciously sweet with light citrus notes, it had an overall more balanced flavour. This tonic was mid-range price and it came in an elegant, vintage style bottle bottle.
Price: £1.40/500ml , waitrose.com
2nd place: Schweppes Tonic Water
About the tonic: Invented over 200 years ago and by appointment of the queen, Schweppes is an original and classic tonic water containing natural quinine.
Comments: This classic tonic water was delicately sweet, slightly cleaner in flavour than the others, and had a slight dryness at the end.
Price: £4/12 cans (150ml/can), ocado.com
Classic Indian tonic water runners up
Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
About the tonic: Launched in the UK in 2005 this tonic water is combined with eight different botanical flavours and natural spring water.
Comments: We thought this tonic was light, clean and had a distinct lemonade-y flavour, leaving a slightly tangy aftertaste.
Price: £3.00/4 pack (200ml/can), waitrose.com
Luscombe Tonic Water
About the tonic: Created and blended in Devon with spring water, Japanese yuzu and Indian quinine to create a classic tonic.
Comments: This Luscombe tonic had an aromatic taste and was slightly sweeter than the others, so if you like all things sweet than this tonic could be for you.
Price: £3.00/4 pack (200ml/can), luscombe.co.uk
Lamb & Watt Original Tonic Water
About the tonic: Launched by Halewood Wines & Spirits, this British tonic is made with organic agave and spring water from the Lake District.
Comments: This refreshing tonic was very sweet with a distinct lemon flavour, we found the fizz slightly flatter than the other tonics, but it came in funky packaging and was mid-range price.
Price: £3.00/4 pack (200ml/bottle), ocado.com
The results for best flavoured Indian tonic water
Winner: Fentimans Pink Grapfruit Tonic Water
About the tonic: Botanically brewed since 1905. With no artificial sweeteners, flavourings or preservatives, this tonic water is made with red grapefruit and quinine.
Comments: With an aromatic light grapefruit taste this winning flavoured tonic was a great all rounder, with a distinct tonic hint. Beautifully presented in a elegant vintage style bottle.
Price: £1.80/500ml, ocado.com
Joint 2nd place:
Franklins Sicilian Lemon Tonic
About the tonic: Established in London, this family-run soft drinks company have been around for over 100 years. This flavoured tonic uses Staffordshire spring water and pressed lemons.
Comments: With a very sweet smell this cloudy lemon tonic is sweet on the palate with a bitter aftertaste
Price: £1.20/200ml, ginfestival.com
Luscombe Grapefruit Tonic Water
About the tonic: Succulent pink grapefruit and classic Indian quinine infuse natural Devon spring water in this delicate citrus tonic.
Comments: With subtle notes of grapefruit, this tonic was slightly dry with a lot of fizz.
Price: £1.10/200ml, ginparlour.com
Flavoured tonic water runners up
Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water
About the tonic: Launched in 2005, this tonic water is a twist on the classic with no artificial flavouring, sweeteners or preservatives.
Comments: Strong notes of elderflower, this tonic water was syrupy and creamy. It was one of the sweeter flavoured tonics we tried.
Price: £1.69/500ml, ocado.com
Lamb & Watt Basil Tonic Water
About the tonic: This British tonic is made with organic agave and spring water from the Lake District with a basil twist.
Comments: We weren’t sure about the basil notes in this tonic water, but it was quite refreshing.
Price: £3.00/4 pack (200ml/bottle), ocado.com
Want to find out which is the best gin tonic in a can? Check out our expert tast test here, or if you’re now thirsty for gin, check out our top 15 British gins here.