Fever-Tree Pre-mixed Gin and Tonics

Every year there seems to be a new “pocket of gin” that distillers and brands turn their attention to. This year, it’s time for the pre-mixed Gin & Tonic to grab the spotlight. 2019 has already seen releases from Sipsmith and Chilgrove (both very good) and now Fever-Tree have thrown their hat into the ring with three premixed (ready-to-drink) expressions.

Fever-Tree Premix

As the bottles’ labels describe them as “targeting picnic and party occasions”, I shall be chilling the bottles down and drinking directly from them, as you would if you were out-and-about.

All three products come in 275ml screw-cap glass bottles and have a strength of 6.3% ABV. They are currently selling for £2.75 each in Tesco (although at the time of printing they are part of their 4 for 3 deal). Here are my thoughts.

1) Premium Indian Gin & Tonic – with juniper-forward gin
This has a high level of fizz, which is always magnified by drinking from the bottle, and the juniper comes through well. This is followed by bright citrus and some lighter floral elements of rose. All-in-all, rather refreshing.

Ingredients: Carbonated Spring Water, Sugar, Gin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavourings including Quinine.
Energy per 100ml: 287kJ/69kcal

2) Elderflower – Fresh and Floral – with lightly floral gin
I actually prefer the more modest level of fizz of this one in comparison to the Indian Tonic. There are notes of sweet elderflower to start, with hints of rose and chamomile, too. This is less classic and, in a sense, less “ginny”, but then that’s to be expected when using a flavoured tonic. It is a really nice approximation of a gin and Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic – very good, indeed.

Ingredients: Carbonated Spring Water, Sugar, Gin, Elderflower, Citric Acid, Natural Flavourings including Quinine.
Energy per 100ml: 277kJ/66kcal

3) Refreshingly Light – with juniper-forward gin
Whilst noticeably lighter in flavour profile, this nonetheless has a decent amount of gin flavour, making it somewhat reminiscent of a mix of tonic water and soda water. Notably clean and crisp, this is, to my mind, the most refreshing of the bunch.

Ingredients: Carbonated Spring Water, Gin, Fructose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavourings including Quinine.
Energy per 100ml: 201kJ/48kcal (About a 30.0% reduction compared to the other two)

Overall I think the full range are of good quality and are helping to improve the overall reputation for pre-mixed gin and tonics. I found them a bit fizzy straight away but after a minute they are perfectly quaffable.Fever-Tree Premix

Introducing Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic

I’ve been a fan of the Pink Gin & Tonic – described as a Gin & Tonic with a dash of Angostura Bitters or a Pink Gin with added tonic – for at least a decade. In fact, it was once my go-to post-work drink.

Some brands have created a Pink Gin (a combination of gin and bitters), so you only have to add tonic, but – until now – there has never been a tonic where the flavours of bitters have been conveniently added.

Fever-Tree Aromatic Angostura Tonic FINAL1

That has changed in the summer of 2016, with the release of Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water, which is made with angostura bark. The tonic also has fresh citrus, cardamom, ginger, and pimento berry (All Spice) as ingredients.

It is worth mentioning that Angostura Bitters made by the House of Angostura (the bottle with the over-sized label) does not actually have angostura bark as an ingredient, although another old brand of bitters, Abbott’s, did.

Both have long been associated with the health and well-being of the sailors of the Royal Navy, with surgeons prescribing angostura bark as an alternative or supplementary anti-fever treatment to quinine bark. As such, it seems like a natural companion to the natural quinine in Fever-Tree Tonic.

On its own
Colour: Pale rose
Nose: Fragrant citrus, along with cola nut, cherry blossom, and woody, aromatic spice.
Fizz: A medium-level of fizz, with a pleasant intensity on the tongue as the bubbles burst.
Taste: Exotic spice to start, then almond and wintergreen, before moving onto cherry and citrus blossom. Pimento and cardamom then make a subtle appearance. This has a long, dry citrus finish with deep and clean, bitter, earthy notes.

Fever-Tree suggest that their Angostura Tonic goes particularly well with juniper-forward gins, so I thought I’d try it out with some of my favourites.

Fever-Tree Aromatic Angostura Tonic FINAL 2

With Plymouth Gin
There is a pleasant harmony between the gin and the tonic, likely in part because of some shared ingredients, including cardamom. There is a sweet lift at the end, accompanied by woody spice notes.

With Hayman’s Royal Dock
The extra strength of flavour and alcoholic power from this combination really gives the drink an additional “Wow!” factor. The gin adds a clean, crisp basis to the drink, whilst the tonic adds a lively character with citrus and spice. Refreshing to the last drop and well-balanced with a bitter finish.

With Makar
The crisp juniper of the gin counteracts the sweeter spice notes of the tonic, resulting in a deep and complex flavour, and a particularly dry Gin Tonic.

With Hayman’s Family Reserve
The light, woody notes and strong botanical flavours work well with the citrus and woody spice of the tonic. The result is a flavoursome mix that still provides lots of refreshment.

With Crossbill 200
Even though the tonic has a strong character, this punchy gin holds its down. The resinous vanilla and juniper wood notes of the gin, along with the floral rosehip, are neatly complementd by the spice and citrus of the tonic, creating a well-rounded drink.

In Conclusion
Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic is a great addition to their range, getting the balance between extra flavour and mixability just right. It is also one of the tastiest tonics to drink on its own, my favourite since I tried Fever-Tree Mediterranean. It also works well when mixed with vodka and I’d love to try it with aquavit.

All-in-all, this is well-worth trying and will be available in Waitrose from July 2016.