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Alternative tonic waters to enhance your next gin & tonic

Everyone loves a good gin and tonic. Not only is it one of the easiest cocktails to make at home, it’s also the most versatile. Simply add your preferred citrus fruit and herb to shake things up. However, those are not the only ways that you can shake up your homemade gin and tonic — some alternative tonic waters may be the answer to stepping up your G&T game.

But wait, we hear you say. Can’t the regular canned tonic water from the supermarket suffice? The answer is yes and no. The regular yellow can that you so lovingly sweep into your shopping basket can make you a perfectly acceptable gin and tonic. But experimenting with other alternative tonic waters with different ingredients and flavours can help enhance the existing botanical flavours in certain gins. Some may even contain less sugar and calories, which means that you can enjoy more G&Ts minus the guilt.

While the following brands of tonic water may not be readily available in your nearest supermarket, it’s worth looking out for them the next time you’re travelling out of the country. Some of these alternative tonic waters are artisanal brands, which means they may be even more prize-worthy than your airport’s duty-free alcohol.

Ready to upgrade your gin and tonic? Scroll down for five alternative tonic water brands to stock up at home.

1 /5

East Imperial

If you’re into experimenting with alternative tonic water brands, chances are you’re already familiar with East Imperial. Those who dislike the saccharine flavour of supermarket tonics will enjoy the original East Imperial Tonic Water which is also slightly drier. Add your citrus of choice, sit back, and sip on your gin and tonic. The pared-back flavours will allow the herbaceous properties of your gin to really shine through.

2 /5


There’s regular tonic water, and then there’s also light tonic water available in the Fentimans range of tonic waters. But what really stands out from the brand’s offerings is the Herbal Tonic Water, infused with herbal extracts of lime flower, juniper, and quinine. Use this in your gin and tonic for a full-on botanical punch.

3 /5


The fact that Fever-Tree has multiple accolades under its belt including #1 Best Selling and Top Trending tonic by the World’s 50 Best Bars for four years in a row should already be reason enough for you to try it with your next G&T. The flavours are plentiful but not gimmicky — if you’re cracking your head on which one to try first, the Mediterranean flavour is a good pick with hints of citrus, rosemary, and thyme.

4 /5

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

We’ll be honest, the packaging completely caught our hearts with this one. But it’s more than just a pretty bottle — the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co are serious about their small-batch tonics which only come in syrup form. But that doesn’t mean it overpowers your gin. It is in fact, quite the opposite as the tonic syrup has a clean and light flavour, which in turn enhances the flavours of your artisanal gin.

5 /5

Peter Spanton

If you’re interested in making your gin and tonic with more than just the usual citrus-and-herb flavour, then Peter Spanton is the one for you. They have several interestingly-flavoured tonic waters, including the No.4 Chocolate. While that may not be the most suitable flavour for your G&T, the No.5 Lemongrass and No.9 Cardamom may be able to give a nice twist to your gin and tonics.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.
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