10 Best Tonic Water In 2021: Reviews & Buying Guide

Cocktail Mixers Reviews

Group of tonic water bottles and cans

Tonic water is gin's best friend because nothing compliments it more. It is also a staple in bartending as famous cocktails, such as the renowned gin and tonic, would not taste the same without it. It does a fantastic job as a mixer, but it's also great on its own. 

It's only fair that you should dedicate time to decide which tonic water would be most suitable for you. Check out our list of the best tonic water you can choose from.

Our Top Picks 

Q Elderflower Tonic Water
Mobile Button

Most Fragrant - Q Elderflower Tonic Water

• More carbonation
• Gluten-free and non-GMO
• Moderately sweet with fruity notes

Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water
Mobile Button

Most Refreshing - Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water

• Only contains 40 calories per bottle
• Less sugar
• A hint of citrus for depth

Q Light Tonic Water
Mobile Button

Best Light - Q Light Tonic Water

• Plentiful effervescence
• Hints of citrus flavors
• Only contains 20 calories per can

1. Q Elderflower Tonic Water - Most Fragrant

Q Elderflower Tonic Water

Q Elderflower Tonic Water

Pros Cons
  • More carbonation
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Moderately sweet with fruity notes
  • More bitter aftertaste



What Customers Have To Say

One Amazon customer commented that this is an excellent tonic with great elderflower flavor. He paired it with rhubarb gin and garnished it with a slice of lemon and a single fresh raspberry. Another one said that Q makes some serious quality mixers, and they definitely have your back. For him, this elderflower tonic water is just the bee’s knees and a nice mix up from his usual gin and tonics.

Why We Think It’s Great

Q Tonic Water doesn’t fail to deliver the best quality since they travel far and wide to acquire the best ingredients. Their Elderflower tonic is bursting with fragrance but not overwhelming to overpower the spirit it’s mixed with. Instead, it is complementary to let the spirit shine through. It also only contains 70 calories per bottle. 

Who Should Buy It

Add a touch of floral goodness to your cocktail with the Q Elderflower tonic water. It is also less sweet, so you don’t have to worry about your diet.   

2. Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water - Most Refreshing

Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water

Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water

Pros Cons
  • Cucumber flavor is vivid
  • Only contains 40 calories per bottle
  • Less sugar
  • Hint of citrus for depth
  • Pairs well with classic style gins
  • Bubbles are less tenacious




What Customers Have To Say

One customer said that he discovered the Fever-Tree light cucumber tonic water, and it is now his go-to for a vodka tonic! He added that he loves the tonic’s fresh, clean taste, and there’s no strange aftertaste. Another customer said that the cucumber flavor was awesome because it is very light and refreshing. With a good gin, this makes a wonderful gin and tonic

Why We Think It’s Great

Make your drink spectacular with the refreshing taste of cucumbers. This tonic water has the perfect balance of sweetness from naturally sourced sugars and bitterness from the quinine, perfect for thirst-quenching beverages. 

Who Should Buy It

If you are a fan of light tonic water but full of natural flavors, be sure to add Fever-Tree cucumber to your list!

3. Q Light Tonic Water - Best Light

Q Light Tonic Water

Q Light Tonic Water

Pros Cons
  • Only contains 20 calories per can
  • Hints of citrus flavors
  • Plentiful effervescence
  • Not too sweet
  • May have an aftertaste that lingers in the throat



What Customers Have To Say

One Amazon patron commented that this light tonic water has always been his favorite because it's great and has no fake sweeteners. For him, it seems better than cutting the regular with soda water. A different customer said that it's light, has just the right amount of fizz, and it complements the premium gins she has grown to love. It is pricey compared to more mainstream brands, but it's worth it for her as the value is in the quality. 

Why We Think It’s Great

Light, bubbly, and low calorie - this light tonic water is satisfying to pair with your favorite gin over ice. It has a pronounced bitterness and astringency, and dryness on the palette, which can be pleasant. 

Who Should Buy It

Anyone who is not into sweets or simply watching out for their calorie and sugar intake should get this light tonic water. 

4. Canada Dry Tonic Water - Best Value

Canada Dry Tonic Water

 

Canada Dry Tonic Water

 

Pros Cons
  • Vibrant sweetness
  • Pleasing quinine flavor
  • Elevates low-quality gins
  • Not effervescent enough to hold bubbles
  • Goes flat quickly

    What Customers Have To Say

    A shopper remarked that this tonic water is refreshing and very tasty. It’s excellent when chilled or served with ice, especially when fresh lemon or lime slices are added. He also said that it has a good value for the money. On the other hand, a different customer said that he likes an old fashioned tonic that’s substantial and flavorful, and he can make this with Canada Dry. 

    Why We Think It’s Great

    Considered one of the sweetest tonic waters out there, it is not overbearingly sweet, so the masses can still enjoy it. It is great being mixed with spirits because it is not overpowering, and it is also great to be drunk on its own. For every 8 ounces, it contains 90 calories, which is a good amount. 

    Who Should Buy It

    If you’re a fan of soda and tonic, you can skip the former since Canada Dry tonic water already tastes like it has soda because of the sweetness. This will also be a good indulgence without adding any more sugar. 

    5. Schweppes Tonic Water - Best Bitter Taste

    Schweppes Tonic Water

    Schweppes Tonic Water
    Pros Cons
    • Clean and pleasant bitterness
    • Contains light wood and lemon notes
    • Large bubbles that tickle the palate
    • Some find it too sweet



    What Customers Have To Say

    One Amazon customer commented that she uses this brand of tonic water to make vodka and tonic because it has the smoothest flavor. According to her, it is also great for relieving acid reflux and an upset stomach. On the other hand, another one said that this is precisely what she was looking for. She loves tonic with Rosé, lime, or even plain. 

    Why We Think It’s Great

    Like Canada Dry, Schweppes tonic water also has 90 calories per 8 oz. It is much sharper and has a more pronounced bitterness than sweetness. This feature is suitable for people who like their gin and tonic to have that pleasant bite. 

    Who Should Buy It

    If you want a soft drink alternative, you can always try the quinine’s distinctive taste through Schweppes tonic water. 

    6. Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water - Most Interesting Flavor

    Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

    Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water
    Pros Cons
    • Made with authentic quinine with a blend of citrus
    • Bursts with herbal tones
    • Less bitter than the original Fever-Tree tonic water
    • Lighter and more fragrant
    • The bottle could be bigger 





    What Customers Have To Say

    An Amazon shopper shared that the Mediterranean is his favorite among the Fever-Tree tonic waters because it has a good quinine bite and a complex and exciting citrus accent. Another customer commented that this has a clean taste and is extremely flexible. He furthered that it’s great with London dry gin and certain vodkas.

    Why We Think It’s Great

    Among Fever-Tree’s line of tonic waters offers the herbal flavors of the Mediterranean. It has a more delicate floral tone with a subtle taste of quinine. It is very cool and refreshing with a slightly bitter aftertaste. 

    Who Should Buy It

    If you want a different tonic for your gin or vodka, try the Meditteranean since it rounds out the spirit and more flavor. Throw in some lemon, rosemary, and thyme in the best copper mugs for gin and tonic.  

    7. Zevia Tonic Water - Best Healthy Option

    Zevia Tonic Water

    Zevia Tonic Water
    Pros Cons
    • Zero sugar and calories
    • Doesn’t have artificial sweeteners
    • Creates a robust and foamy head when poured 
    • Long-lasting bubbles
    • May be too bitter for some
    • Lacks texture on the palate

      What Customers Have To Say

      A customer said that the taste was excellent, comparable, and not too sweet. He also found it a bit pricey, but it seems worth it since he makes good gin and tonic with it. Another one said that the product adds well to gin and doesn’t take away its flavor. For him, the size is also perfect for an evening drink. 

      Why We Think It’s Great

      Since this tonic water is free from calories, you don’t have to be guilty of drinking more of it. It is pleasant on the nose with a little bit of lemon-lime soda notes. Be careful, though, because the bitter flavor of this one is very pronounced but nothing unpleasant.   

      Who Should Buy It

      If you are a Stevia believer, then the tonic water for you is Zevia. You will find that it is a great contender among the best tonic water. 

      8. Polar Premium Tonic Water - Best as Consumed Plain

      Polar Premium Tonic Water

      Polar Premium Tonic Water
      Pros Cons
      • A decent balance of sweetness and bitterness
      • It is not very strong
      • Good value
      • Lacks depth and flavor



      What Customers Have To Say

      A shopper remarked that this a great purchase because he loves the taste, and he added that he would repurchase it. Meanwhile, another customer said that this tonic water is an excellent addition to the Rum Collins he makes for summer gatherings

      Why We Think It’s Great

      In an array of products, there will always be something that’s placed in the middle range. One of which is Polar tonic water. It doesn’t have the same level as the more prominent brands, but it still delivers, and that’s what matters. It is sufficiently sweet with a satisfying amount of bitterness. It also has 90 calories per 8 ounces. Nevertheless, it is still among the best tonic water. 

      Who Should Buy It

      If you’re trying to take a break from the overwhelming bitterness from some tonic water, you a try Polar since it has less quinine and, therefore, a more bearable bitterness for everyone to enjoy.

      9. Diet Canada Dry Tonic Water - Best Carbonation

      Diet Canada Dry Tonic Water

      Diet Canada Dry Tonic Water
      Pros Cons
      • Zero calories and caffeine
      • Lots of bubbles
      • Leaves a sweet aftertaste lingering at the back of the palette
      • It may be too plain for some


      What Customers Have To Say

      One customer commented that this tastes like regular tonic water but is great if you keep your glycemic index low. She also loves this product for her gin and tonics. On the other hand, a different customer commented that this has no carbs, and she also said that it tastes like regular tonic water. Overall, she highly recommends it. 

      Why We Think It’s Great

      Upgrade your cocktail by adding a nice diet tonic water for an added character to the drink. It is similar to club soda but with a dash of bitterness. While a bit dry on the palette, it also gives that bite that most drinkers want for their beverage. 

      Who Should Buy It

      If you prefer your tonic water to be not overwhelmingly sweet or bitter, then give this one a try. 

      10. Top Note Classic Tonic Water - Best as Mixer

      Top Note Classic Tonic Water

      Top Note Classic Tonic Water
      Pros Cons
      • Great balance of flavors
      • Offers sourness aside from sweetness and bitterness
      • Great as a mixer
      • Some find it too sweet



      What Customers Have To Say

      One customer commented that he buys this tonic water for the quinine’s health benefits. She said that she’s not a big alcohol drinker but sometimes has her Chardonnay wine. To make her small drink go further, she adds tonic water to make it last. Another customer said that Top Note tonic water is an excellent mixer and a great choice to consume quinine. 

      Why We Think It’s Great

      Made with real quinine resulting in a pleasant snap and rich in lime extract, Top Note classic tonic water is great for cocktails or on its own. It doesn’t overwhelm the palate with sugar, and it only has 80 calories per serving. 

      Who Should Buy It

      If you like your tonic water to have a bit of flair, like sourness, to add to the flavor profile, don’t forget to try this one!

      Things to Consider Before Buying Tonic Water

      Most people would agree that tonic water is an acquired taste. Here are a few key points to take into account before choosing the best tonic water if you’re new to it. 

      • Container

      You will find different kinds of tonic water in separate containers at any supermarket. There are tonic waters in plastic bottles, glass bottles, or cans. When picking the best tonic water for you, the ones in glass bottles are the best choice. 

      The level of carbonation is essential, and glass bottles hold up carbonation better than plastic bottles or cans. There are also tonic waters in champagne-sized glass bottles, which is perfect for when you are hosting a small party or gathering.

      • Price

      If you are looking to buy the best tonic water with outstanding quality, you may need to check out the prices first and see if it fits your budget. There are premium tonic waters, and there are supermarket own-brand versions. You will find that the premium ones are more expensive. 

      The reason for the price gap boils down to their ingredients. The own-brand versions use cheap artificial ingredients to cut the cost. The downside is it tastes too sweet for tonic water. So sweet that it cancels out the original bitterness of tonic water. Buying cheap tonic water may mess up the drink you're concocting.

      • Carbonation

      Its carbonation determines the quality of tonic water. More carbonation means excellent quality. Avoid supermarket brands if you want your tonic water to taste good. Go for the ones in glass instead. They have better carbonation and taste better.

      • Sweetener

      Another factor that contributes to the taste of tonic water is the sweetener used. Before you purchase a product, make sure you read the ingredients in the container. It's best if you go for sweeteners like agave syrup or cane sugar. Avoid high fructose corn syrup if you are particular with your sugar intake.

      • Level of Quinine

      Tonic water is carbonated water infused with quinine and a bit of sweetener. Although there are brands that produce tonic water without quinine, most of them incorporate this main ingredient. If you've had a bad reaction to quinine before or are susceptible to it, you must take caution and check out the quinine level in a product.

      Tonic Water FAQ

      1. What does quinine do for the body?

      Quinine is an ingredient of tonic water, and it is the one responsible for its bitter taste. Quinine has effects on the body, positive and negative alike. On the bright side, it can cure malaria. It can't precisely prevent the disease, but it can help fight it. Also, some people think it can help ease leg cramps and restless legs syndrome. 

      However, it may also cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, and nervousness. Worry not; these adverse effects are seen when quinine is taken as a medication. Quinine in tonic water is diluted, and the chances of you experiencing this by drinking the best tonic water is not likely. 

      2. Who should not take quinine?

      Pregnant women and children aren't allowed to consume quinine. If you have drunk tonic water with quinine before and experienced a bad reaction, you shouldn't try to drink it again. Moreover, you are advised not to take quinine if you: have low blood sugar, have abnormal heart rhythm, have other medications, or have kidney or liver disease.

      3. Is it okay to drink tonic water every day? 

      Just like any other carbonated beverage, drinking tonic water every day has its effects. 12-ounce tonic water would contain 32 grams of sugar, 124 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 44 milligrams of sodium. If you consume tonic water on a daily basis, it will result in bloating, puffiness, and weight gain.

      4. What do you use tonic water for?

      The most popular use of tonic water is as a cocktail mixer. It is what you use with gin, vodka, tequila, and other alcohols to make a cocktail with a touch of bitterness and carbonation. There are different ways you can use your tonic water, it can be a remedy for muscle cramps, and you can use it as a plant fertilizer.

      5. Why is quinine in tonic water?

      Quinine was initially used as a medicine to treat malaria. It comes from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine is the key ingredient to tonic water, and it is what gives it that natural bitterness. Back then, tonic water was made from powdered quinine, sugar, and soda water. 

      The U.S. FDA authorized the inclusion of quinine in tonic waters as long as it doesn't exceed 83 parts per million. Thanks to it, you can enjoy bitterness as much as other tastes through the best tonic water. 

      Conclusion

      Fancy a bitter and strong drink? Then you have to use the best tonic water from the list above. If you’re having a hard time choosing since each of them seems to be great, try the Q Elderflower Tonic Water. It hit you with many herbal and floral notes that go smoothly with your gin of choice. 

      If you want lighter tonic water to quench your thirst, it’s no question that you should pick Fever-Tree Light Cucumber Tonic Water. It is like the liquid version of cucumber, just as refreshing and delightful with a bit more depth.  

      If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check other carbonated beverages like sparkling water and ginger beer. If you want, you can also experiment carbonating your favorite alcohols with the best soda makers with caution.

      Older Post Newer Post


      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments must be approved before they are published