As the thirst for gin continues, so too does the release of new tonic water brands. I first tried Distillers Tonic at Imbibe (live.imbibe.com) and was seriously impressed.
Distillers Tonic is a new company, formed by a group of distillers and led by Michael Gain of Bramley and Gage and 6 O’Clock gin fame. The company purchased the recipe for 6 O’Clock Tonic Water and made some adaptations. The aim was to create a high quality tonic water which allowed each gin to shine through. Rather than “flavouring” the drink as such, Distillers Tonic provides a platform for the gin, (or other spirit).
The team behind Distillers Tonic have worked within the spirits industry for many years and drew upon experience, knowledge and their distillery colleagues to gain insight into what a distiller looks for in a tonic water and which qualities best showcase their spirit.
Launched on 4th May 2017, Distillers Tonic is available in two styles: Original and Dry. The Original is lower in sugar than most commercial tonic waters, but the Dry takes this angle one step further. The Dry is distinctively crisp and has 50% fewer calories than the Original.
Personally, I have never been one to even contemplate the number of calories in anything, let alone my drink, (you are drinking alcohol after all). However, I was incredibly impressed by the flavour of the Dry and believe you wouldn’t notice its lack of sweetness. Preferring the flavour and it being “healthier” can only be a good thing.
Production takes place at a small family-owned brewing and bottling company in Dudley, West Midlands. African Cinchona bark has the quinine extracted and dissolved into a liquid. The quinine, lemons and limes are blended with a small amount of sugar and pure water before being carbonated and pasteurised. No artificial flavourings or preservatives are used.
500ml bottles are due to be launched later in the year.
Distillers Tonic – Original
Aromas: Bright juicy lime with a touch of tangerine peel. Soft, yet zesty. Inviting.
Palate: A gentle mouthfeel, but good presence and weight. The bubbles are soft, not aggressive, but it could benefit from being a little fizzier. Not 100% neutral – subtle lemon and lime, but not overpowering. A good clean finish. Gentle bitterness is almost indiscernible as mixed with the acidity.
Distillers Tonic – Dry
Aromas: Bright and crisp with a soft, almost chalky note – not unpleasant. Gentle lemon in the background. Soft and subtle.
Palate: Soft, smooth and round on the mouthfeel. Nearly neutral. Subtle lemon and lime in the background, but you do have to look for them as flavours. A refreshing, crisp, zesty finish. So well-balanced with acidity, citrus and bitterness. Really cleanses the palate.
I love having another option and would happily drink these without any spirits. I really look forward to watching this brand grow.