Product Type: Fever Tree Soft Drink
Newest Review: ... comes in a 500ml glass bottle, shaped with a neck and has a metal cap. The label on the front declares 'Natural Fever-Tree premium Ginge... more
Gin + Tonic and NO sweeteners
Fever Tree Mixers
Member Name: mjc121
Fever Tree Mixers
Date: 30/06/09, updated on 20/01/10 (560 review reads)
Advantages: nothing artificial
Whilst fever tree produces a number of mixers I'm concentrating on the tonic waters and the ginger ale
Like many people I enjoy a good gin and tonic (or vodka and tonic) now and again. I am, however, intolerant to aspartame which is used as a sweetener in most tonic waters (I only discovered my intolerance few years ago). Aspartame also gives tonic water a rather horrible chemical aftertaste. Companies use both sugar and sweeteners mainly because this reduces cost. Saccharine, for example is about 4000 times 'sweeter' than sugar. Hence you need 4000 times less of it for the same effect hence it will cost less.
There is no way artificial sweetener loaded mixers are going anywhere near my gin and thankfully I have found a tonic which has no artificial sweeteners in it. Fever tree is 100% natural and still contains the natural quinine which is in all tonics. It is the quinine, one the only treatment for malaria, which is responsible for the slight bitter taste. Whilst this is not the cheapest tonic water it is in my opinion the best. It also won a San Sebastian Gourmet Award in 2006.
The tonic water is available in 200ml and 500ml bottles but it is not the easiest brand to find. I have only seen it in Waitrose, larger Sainsburies and specialist drinks stores. You can also buy it online from some drinks companies. Whilst Waitrose and Sainsbury sell them in 4x200ml (for about £2.90) and the 500ml (sorry don't know the price). Online you can get packs of 24x200ml bottles which does make it cheaper (£14.95 - price at www.thedrinkshop.com)
Looking at the tonic it is perfectly clear, as a good tonic should be and the aroma is slightly citrusy. The taste is not the overpowering chemical taste you get with the best known brand but much softer with a citrus edge. The slight bitterness of the quinine is there but it is not overpowering. One good thing is that it does not go flat the moment you pour it into your glass nor does it overpower the spirit it is added to. The fizz stays long enough for you to enjoy your Gin and tonic on the long summer evening.
The company also produce a low calorie tonic water. When I hear 'low calorie' the alarm bells of sweeteners and saccharine start ringing and the big red 'avoid like the plague' lights flash. This is different. There is no artificial muck in this low calorie tonic. The number of calories is reduced by using natural fruit sugars. This gives it 45% fewer calories than their normal tonic water. To me it tastes virtually indistinguishable from the normal tonic just perhaps slightly heavier on the citrus side. There is also none of the cloying feel remaining on your palette as most 'low calorie' tonics give and no saccharine after taste.
This is available in the same size bottles from the same places and at the same price as the tonic water. Again whilst there are cheaper and better known ones on the market this is one of the few I will buy.
The ginger ale is, despite being a mixer, one of those things which I would be happy to drink on its own. It has a clear golden colour and the aroma is one of ginger with an undertone of citrus fruits mainly lemon. The taste of it on its own is a clean fresh taste. It has a strong ginger punch but it is not so strong that it catches the back of your throat. It does leave a clean ginger after taste for quite a while after you have finished it. This mixer goes well with a good whiskey, after all if you don't want to ruin a good spirit with a poor mixer why ruin a good mixer with a bad spirit? (or am I just being a spirits snob?). Ginger is supposed to be good for digestion so it could be good to take a small amount of ginger ale before a meal.
The tonics and ginger ale also contain no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives. The lack of preservatives does reduce its shelf life but then again if bought in small amounts at a time this should not be a problem
Fever tree also produces the following mixers but as yet I haven't tried them as yet. They are all also made with 100% natural ingredients and are the same price:
One thing I have always wanted to know is what is the difference between the ginger beer and ginger ale? I always thought they were the same thing.
Summary: good clean tastes that don't ruin a good spirit.