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Tasting Tuesday: Fever Tree

Naturally Light Indian Tonic

London, England

Katherine – This rich tonic water has hints of lime and grapefruit and a sweet smell. The bubbles are on the small side and created a light fizz that reaches up into your palate.
Grant – This dry tonic doesn’t fall into the pitfalls of “light” drinks that sacrifice the flavor along with the calories—a low sweetness backs this beverage before a brisk tartness wraps everything up.
Amy – Up-front admission: I’m not a fan of tonic by itself. For me, it’s a delivery mechanism for gin and lime. That said, I was surprised and delighted by how refreshing this tonic was on its own. It’s lightly bitter and minerally with a slight sweetness at the end.
Michele – A sip of this tonic starts out with a bright, acidic note that quickly melts into a sour back-of-the-mouth after-taste that sticks with you. The heavy bitterness is impossible to ignore.
Jessie – Here, “light” means a subdued quinine afterburn and a pleasant effervescence that alights on the palate. It definitely won’t harsh anyone’s mellow. I’d mix it with vodka and garnish with shoot of lemongrass.

Final thought by Amy:

Thumbs up for good flavor that’s mercifully free of fake sweetener taste.

Mediterranean Tonic

London, England

Jessie – Citruses unite! This tonic smells of fresh lime and orange and tastes like grapefruit and lemon. Visions of cocktail possibilities are dancing in my head.
Katherine – Did someone switch my tonic with Sprite? This tonic has a sweet tart taste with notes of lime and citrus and big bubbles that make it feel very fizzy.
Grant – My favorite out of all the Fever Tree mixers, this Mediterranean Tonic features a full, mellow sweetness without any gross tonic starchiness. It’s very smooth, with just the right amount of fizz.
Amy – This tonic offering is sweet and slightly tangy, a bit like grapefruit. Being a savory person, it’s not my favorite Fever Tree offering, but I do like the citrus fruit notes.
Michele – The pleasant tingly, citrus flavor at the beginning rounds off into a muted bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit. This would be good with a salty snack.

Final thought by Michele:

This tonic tasted like a classy Sprite without the artificial, syrupy sweetness.

Premium Indian Tonic

London, England

Michele – A swig of this will wake you up with its bracing sour flavor and strong, lingering bitterness. This tonic is for anyone who can’t stand sweet drinks.
Jessie – I never thought I’d have a chance to say this, but I feel like I’ve been licking a cinchona tree. I’m really picking up on the quinine. Bracing bitterness, spicy fizz, and a slightly salty tang make it great as a mixer for those who like tonic. (Or as a slumber-party dare for those who do not.)
Katherine – This premium version has a very sour aftertaste that reminds me of biting into the pith of a lime. It also has a slightly sweet taste.
Grant – This fella stands bolder on almost all counts than its lighter younger brother—a frothier fizz occupies the front of the palate and the tartness really comes through in this one before rounding out on some slightly bitter and sweet notes.
Amy – Whoa! This is like an orange pith in bubbly liquid form. It really makes you understand where the term “bracing” comes from as I found myself bracing for each sip. I was strangely addictive for me, and I’d love to try it with a squirt of lime and a really juniper-filled gin.

Final thought by Katherine:

A tonic for the stiffest Brits.

Club Soda

London, England

Amy – This soda had big, honking’ bubbles that made my palate tingle and bit my nose. The flavor is very mineral, like granite.
Michele – There isn’t much of a flavor, but the pleasant fizzy sensation makes this soda extra refreshing.
Jessie – This is a club I could be a member of. It’s easily one of the best club sodas I’ve ever had.
Katherine – This soda has a clean and crisp bite with big bubbles that climb up palate and into your nose.
Grant – This was the biggest dud of the bunch: only slightly carbonated and minimally flavored, this club soda’s crystal-clear taste was certainly refreshing, but the blip of tartness was a little too muffled for me.

Final thought by Jessie:

Very refreshing and mild with a little mineral-y zip.

Ginger Ale

London, England

Grant – This ginger ale was very light with just enough sweet thrown in—none of that straight Canada Dry stickiness—and the spiciness of the ginger really comes through. And smooth!
Amy – While I love the bright, ginger smell, this drink didn’t have the aggressive follow-though I was ready for. Instead I found a smooth and mellow ginger flavor with a fair amount of sweetness.
Michele – This soda offers the taste of fresh ginger without being overbearing. It starts off with a gentle fizz and bright, acidic flavor which leads into a smooth, mellow finish.
Jessie – Fresh ginger enthusiasts will be very happy. Everything, from the fizzy bubbles that hit your nose, to the zesty aftertaste lingering on your tongue, is evocative of spicy, floral ginger root. This ale rises above its mass-market cola counterparts with citrusy flavors and a distinctive carbonated tang.
Katherine – A smell that reminds me of powdered ginger for baking cookies rather than fresh ginger root. This soda is light on fizz and not too sweet.

Final thought by Amy:

It’s a very easy going drink.

Bitter Lemon

London, England

Katherine – This soda is the Warhead Sour Candy of Fever Tree’s offerings. It packs a pithy punch that leaves a dry, almost wine-like, aftertaste with small, dissipating bubbles.
Grant – The Bitter Lemon starts out with a nice lemon flavor before a GINORMOUS bitterness steps up and let’s you know what’s what. If you’re looking for some contrast with your liquors, this is definitely the choice for you.
Amy – My favorite! It’s so lemony, like a whole lemon was distilled into a drink, rind, pith, and juice. There’s a great balance of tart, sweet, and bitter that makes me want to drink this straight or blend it with any number of liquors.
Michele – The lemon flavor which is so often masked by heaps of sugar in drinks and desserts is very present in this soda. The aroma is bright and citrusy and the taste is mildly bitter with a pleasant tartness. This would be great for mixing.
Jessie – Fans of Warheads candy and Tearjerkers gum will get in line for a taste of this citrusy-sour concoction.

Final thought by Jessie:

Bitter Lemon lives up to its name—it’s bitter.

Sparkling Lemon

London, England

Jessie – Pleasantly lemony and fairly sweet. It’d be great alongside some iced tea in a fancy Arnold Palmer, substituting the lemonade.
Katherine – A sweet, syrupy sip that tastes and smells like a fancy version of homemade lemonade.
Grant – Sparkling Lemon, in contrast to its rowdier cousin, maintains a nice balance of sweet and tart lemon flavors without being overwhelming, yet a sustained, tangy bitterness ends up being a little distracting.
Amy – After the bitter lemon blew my socks off with its awesomeness, this left me feeling like I’d drunk an Orangina in lemon-flavor. I like the bright flavors, but everything seems muted after the bold, sharp tang of the bitter lemon.
Michele – This was much weaker than the other lemon drink. There’s a sharp fizz and a smooth, sweet lemon flavor.

Final thought by Katherine:

It’s not too sour and not too fizzy and has a fresh citrus scent.

Amy Scheuerman

Amy Scheuerman—culture's former web director—spent eight years in North Carolina where she developed a love of barbecue and biscuits before moving up north to get a degree in nutrition. She now works at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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