Tonic water taste test header

Best tonic water taste test

Our mission: to find the best original Indian tonic water available in the UK. Here are the results of our expert taste test, and you'll be surprised by the results

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.

Price: £1.40/500ml ,

Fentimans tonic

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),

Schweppes Tonic water

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),

Indian Tonic water with lemon Curl

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 tonic water

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),

Lamb and watt tonic water

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,

Fentimans Pink Grapefruit

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,

Franklin and sons

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,

Luscmbe Grapefruit tonic

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,

Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Highball glass with Orange Curl

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),

Lamb and Watt Basil tonic


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.