What is tonic?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question” What is tonic?” with an in-depth analysis of the methods of its making. Moreover, we are going to highlight its health risks.

What is tonic?

Tonic water is a type of soda water. It is commonly used in cocktail recipes. It’s also a refreshing pick-me-up.

Tonic water is known as a carbonated drink. It contains a compound called quinine. Quinine creates its signature bitter taste. Manufacturers which make tonic water often add sugar to the drink to balance this bitterness. It gives it a bittersweet taste.

Tonic water was considered a medicinal drink in the early nineteenth century. Medical professionals offered this drink to soldiers to help treat malaria. Since that time, tonic water has become a popular palate refresher. It is a favorite drink for its bitter flavor. It is known as a widespread ingredient for several alcoholic drinks, such as the gin and tonic, tequila tonic, and vodka tonic.

Difference between Tonic Water and Club Soda:

Club soda is unflavored, unsweetened carbonated water. It includes sodium. It also includes salt, and sometimes other additives. While these two drinks look the same. They are equally refreshing. But their taste is completely different from each other. You can recognize the bitterness of tonic water. The tonic contains a sweetener.

What is tonic water made from?

Modern tonic water includes some other soft drinks. To make tonic water, mix a flavored syrup with carbonated water. Tonic syrup ingredients vary from brand to brand. It commonly includes natural quinine. It may have an artificially derived substitute. It also includes citrus peels or oils, and a sweetener. Sweeteners may be cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup are typical). Other botanicals also add allspice, cinnamon, elderflower, gentian, ginger, lavender, and lemongrass.

Quinine is known as a tonic water’s defining ingredient. It glows under black light that’s why we use it. Quinine is known as a natural alkaloid. It is extracted from red or yellow cinchona bark.

What does tonic water taste like?

Tonic water is well known due to its semi-bitter taste. The carbonated water’s fizziness softens that.

Many other tonics contain some other ingredients such as citrus, herbal, and spice notes. Tonic water is considerably drier than sodas like ginger ale. We can rarely find a tonic that tastes syrupy.

How to drink tonic water?

We can use tonic water in alcoholic mixed drinks. Tonic water is enjoyable on its own when it is poured over ice.

In alcoholic drinks:

  • We can mix tonic water with gin, other liquors work well with tonic water. Vodka is a much popular drink and Irish whiskey is also a favorite among whiskey styles.
  • We can also mix tonic water with fortified wines. We can mix it for drinkers who enjoy a bitter drink, with bitter spirits. Bitter spirits may include Aperol and Campari for the ultimate apéritif.
  • If you have mixed drinks, tonic often appears in simple recipes with just a few ingredients. It makes the best combo with citrus juices and berries.
  • In some cocktail recipes, it is an excellent alternative to sweetened sodas.

In non-alcoholic drinks:

  • When we use it as a nonalcoholic drink, we use a splash of lime juice (called lime and tonic) to give it a nice boost with the tart citrus balancing the tonic’s bitterness. Due to the tonic’s dry profile, it is known as an excellent dinner drink
  • Non Alcoholic tonic drinks are increasingly more popular. Floating a shot of espresso on top of a glass of tonic is common in coffee shops.
  • We can also mix it with cold brew coffee. It is mixed for a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up. If you want a sweet, floral touch, then mix tonic water with an herb-infused syrup such as lavender.

Tonic Recipes:

There are some recipes in which tonic water is mainly used.

  • Autumn Spiced Tonic
  • Cherry Gin and Tonic
  • Strawberry Gin and Tonic
  • Whiskey Tonic
  • White Port and Tonic

Tonic water risks:

  • The main benefit of tonic water is that since it is a liquid, it can be hydrating.
  • It has high contents of sugar. Some people don’t recommend beverages with added sugar to meet your daily hydration quota.
  • It is said that don’t use it as a water alternative.
  • If you like drinking tonic water or if you like to use it in your favorite cocktails, then you should enjoy it in moderation. 
  • If there is one serving of tonic water, then you should know that it exceeds the amount of added sugar recommended for the whole day.
  • The high-fructose corn syrup is a fructose-glucose liquid sweetener. It can be in tonic water. It is not good for you.  Like sugar, consuming high-fructose corn syrup regularly can become the reason for obesity and metabolism issues.
  • You can also face some risks associated with consuming too much tonic water. If you are using too much tonic water. As you know it is the source of added sugar. over-consuming can become the reason for chronic diseases, like heart disease, and diabetes.

Here, you can find more information about tonic water.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question” What is tonic?” with an in-depth analysis of the methods of its making. Moreover, we highlighted its health risks.

Citations:

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-tonic

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-tonic-water-5101606

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.