Some girlfriends gathered chez moi last weekend for some high school reminiscing, appetizer consuming and cocktail imbibing. We started by sipping prosecco with hibiscus flowers and syrup (which I’ll save for another post). I then proceeded to turn my guests into guinea pigs with my much anticipated tonic testing. The results, I must say, were surprising indeed! But first, let’s meet the contestants.
My hope was to integrate a homemade tonic into my tasting. Todd Thrasher, of Restaurant Eve fame, has a recipe that the Washington Post published a while back, but I had a bit of trouble putting my hands on some of the ingredients, namely quinine powder and citric acid. So, we had to resort to store-bought brands. I picked two brands widely available in grocery stores: Schweppes Diet Tonic and Canada Dry Regular Tonic. My third pick was the Q Tonic, a new discovery I mentioned in a previous post. Made from organic agave nectar instead of sugar, it’s billed as a healthy, superior tonic.
I mixed up three mini-cocktails for each of my friends, using Smirnoff Vodka or Tanqueray Gin and a squeeze of lime. It was a blind tasting (I used Solo cups and labeled the bottom of each with a Sharpee), so our results were completely unbiased.
The results? Three out of four gals picked the diet tonic as their favorite! The Q Tonic samples—which ring in at a staggering $10 for around 25 ounces—tasted a bit flavorless to our palettes. Comparatively, the diet tonic—a bargain at around $2 for about 33 ounces—had a sweeter flavor that seemed to accentuate the drink’s lime-iness. Needless to say, we felt extremely unsophisticated to discover that the organic, “gourmet” tonic was the least palatable to our taste buds. But I’m not dismissing the Q Tonic all together. I think it might be best suited to really bringing out the flavor of the liquor. A pairing of Q Tonic with the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s gin, for example, or maybe a flavored vodka, might be better suited to bringing out the tonic’s best attributes. But I think you’ll have to give it a try and see for yourself! You can find out where to buy Q Tonic on their Web site.
posted by Miss Mojito