Continuing my interest in tonic waters, I decided to review another brand which is appearing on store shelves: Fentimans. You may have seen their other products, such as Curiosity Cola, Shandy, and Victorian Lemonade.
Fentimans describes their tonic as “An organic grain base, milled quinine bark and lemongrass from Asia are brought together to create a natural tonic water that is distinctly zesty and brewed to perfection. There is a sharpness derived from the bitter, woody aromas of quinine bark, mixed with a light dose of cane sugar.”
Comparing it to other botique brands, it runs about $2.75 a bottle, compared to Q tonic’s $2.25 and Fever-Tree’s $2.50.
To refresh your memory, here is the ingredient list from my tonic water review along with Fentimans.
- Fentimans: carbonated water, cane syrup, citric acid, tonic flavor, quinine.
- Q Tonic: purified water, organic agave (for sweetening), Peruvian quinine, Lemon juice extract, natural flavors.
- Fever-Tree: spring water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, Rwanda/Congo quinine.
- Schweppes: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, quinine.
‘Tonic flavor’? The fine print describes it as water, lemon oil and ethanol. Mmm!
So how does Fentimans tonic taste? I immediately noticed a chemical/medicinal taste, followed by an overwhelming sweetness. The balance of lemon was off, and pithy flavors dominated. It seems a bit fizzier than the other tonics. To be honest, I’d put it in the same class as Schweppes. To me, it had none of the depth and smoothness that both Fever-Tree and Q Tonic posses.
As I said before, When it comes down to it, the tonic you are going to like depends on your personal taste and what brand of liquor you want to mix it with. The biggest question is whether the boutique versions are worth the price. For Q Tonic and Fever-Tree, I’d say yes. However, I don’t think I would buy the Fentimans again. Furthermore, I would continue to make my tonic water, before I would buy any of them!