* Prices may differ from that shown
Tonic water is something I really do like to drink whether it be alone or as a mixer with alcohol and I do appreciate the brand that is Schweppes as I know very much of the company and saw this on offer in a supermarket on my travels and decided that as I hadn't drank it in years it was time to retry something I once really enjoyed!
1 litre see-through plastic bottle with a silver screw on/off cap to the top of it and around the curvy bottle there is a clear label on there with some dashes of yellow and red colour on there and I'm told it is Schweppes Slimline Indian Tonic Water and that it contains Quinine and there is an at a glance nutritional chart on there. Other information on the bottle includes ingredients and allergy advice being given, the size is stated and contact details for Coca Cola (the manufacturer of the product) are listed. Nice enough bottle and I do like the curve to the middle of the bottle for ease of handling and of course the information on the bottle is well listed and easy to understand.
The Indian Tonic Water Itself:
Clear liquid and I like this one down to it's sheer quality. By that I mean the quality is highly apparent on several levels. First it's rich, bitter watery taste is really unusual and a little bit sharp. Secondly once poured (on it's own or mixed) it doesn't go dead as a dodo but stays rather sparkling (opposed to highly fizzy/gassy) for a good hour or so and when stored in the fridge with the lid/cap done up very tight it stays 'fresh' for a good few days and doesn't lose any of it's redeeming features.
Use this any way you like for a twist to anything drinkable. Personally I adore this with gin as I love gin! Low in calories/sugar it's a healthy little water and I really like the bitter taste of this!
Nutritional Information Per 250ml Serving:
Calories: 4.4 Kcal
Priced at about 99p a bottle in all good supermarkets etc.
With the Christmas food-fest behind us, it's time to cut back a bit on the excess. My poison of choice at the pub when I'm trying to reduce the calories is a slimline tonic water with a slice of lime, which usually ends up being the ubiquitous Schweppes tonic water. As it happens, Schweppes Slimline tonic water was also the only brand of tonic water sold by the garage around the corner (costing 89p for a 1 litre bottle), making it in this case my only choice. In this context, "slimline" is a posh word for "diet" that mainly seems to get used on bottles of tonic water.
According to the branding on the bottle, it dates to 1783. At least, there is a logo on it saying 1783, and so I assume that it's not actually a best before date, which would be the other possible interpretation.
===The drinking experience===
The bottle of tonic water is extremely fizzy (it sprays everywhere when I open it), particularly compared with other brands of tonic water. Because it is so fizzy, the carbonated water dominates the flavour of it, making it extremely sharp. The quinine gives it a bitter edge to it, which means that overall, it has a clean, crisp taste to it. It doesn't really quench my thirst though, so I often have a glass of plain tapwater first, so that I can just sip the tonic water more slowly.
To be perfectly honest, I can't really tell the difference between a slimline tonic water and one with sugar in, since many brands actually have sweeteners in both versions, which means that I usually just get the slimline version. I also can't really tell the difference between this brand and the supermarket's own brand versions of them in a blind taste test apart from by the levels of fizzyness - which soon diminishes once the bottle has been open more than a day. They all taste distinctly bitter and faintly of the slice of lime or lemon that gets put in them.
===How to drink it===
My preferred way of drinking this is a tumbler full of neat tonic water with two pieces of ice and a slice of lime. But on very special (and rare) occasions, it also tastes good with a double shot of Bombay Sapphire gin in it.
The ingredients of the tonic water are carbonated water, lemon juice, citric acid, E371, flavourings (including quinine), aspartame and E202. Each 250ml serving has 5kcal, no sugar, no fat, and 0.2g salt.
===Useful measuring cup===
This bottle now comes with a measuring cup, presumably in order to help us drink sensibly and not exceed our recommended limits of alcohol - which is only slightly odd, given this drink has no alcohol in it at all. There are some pictographic instructions on the bottle saying how to use the measuring cup that are presumably designed to be helpful in case you don't know how to pour spirits (perhaps, for example, because you have already had too many measures of them?). I'm not very good at understanding modern art, but for the sake of this review, I'll give it a go at describing and interpreting the pictures:
In the first picture, you take the measuring cup off the bottle. Now I know that's useful advice to put in a picture, because several times over the festive period, I've had to tell people they're trying to pour through a closed lid.
In the second picture, we see an unknown bottle being poured into the measuring cup. Sadly, I can foresee a problem if you are using this picture as your guide after a few drinks with people getting confused and pouring 50ml of tonic water in a tumbler of gin. So I'm less convinced by that one.
In the third picture, we have what looks like a shot of gin on the table. Presumably by this point, everyone is at the stage where they are so confused they have the gin neat and forget about the tonic? Either that or it's supposed to indicate that we only fill the cap a third full. In which case, I have to wonder why the cap is that big in the first place - perhaps so it doesn't get spilled?
Fortunately, my art appreciation skills were not actually needed, because it also says on the bottle that all you have to do to use this is to pour it up to the line inside the cup and you get a single 35 ml measure. Which confused me for two reasons - firstly, I thought a double was 50ml (which would make a single 25ml) and secondly, there are actually two lines on the inside of this cup, one of which is wiggly. So I guess that it's the wiggly line after a few drinks?
===Some background and history===
Tonic is a term olde worlde term for a liquid medicine that peps you up and revitalises you. And when the British Empire expanded to tropical areas where malaria was common, then a tonic of quinine mixed with gin (for flavour) was the prescription. Sadly, as the malaria parasites became resistant to quinine, this habit is now somewhat out of date and other drugs are recommended instead, so drinking G&Ts all day is no longer a recognised medical treatment for preventing malaria. In spite of this, though, this quinine-based "Indian tonic water" as it is known has stuck with us ever since, though now there's only a small amount of quinine in it for flavouring, so the gin is now just a nice extra rather than a necessity.
However, the good news is that quinine is actually sometimes recommended as a simple treatment for cramps. So if you are prone to getting calf cramps in the middle of the night, then tonic water or bitter lemon may be what you get told to have.
One of the really fun things about the quinine contained in the tonic water is that it fluoresces. So if you light your tonic water with a light that contains UV (such as a "black light" torch, or the UV-lights in a club), it glows a bright greeny-blue colour. It's even slightly visible under daylight.
In summary, this brand is perfectly nice. But I can't really tell the difference between this and any other brand of tonic water. But tonic water is nice in general and it's not got too many calories in if you get the slimline version. I'm not convinced by its health giving properties, but it's probably a lot more sensible than having three pints of diet coke and then trying to sleep and better for my liver than having alcohol.
Review may be cross-posted elsewhere.