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Why you should never buy cheap tonic water

If you thought you were being good sticking to clear spirits and tonic – we have news for you.

gin and tonic
gin and tonic

Whilst proper tonic water mixed with gin or another clear spirit carries significantly less calories than say, a glass of red - there’s one mistake many shoppers are making.

According to one tonic producer in the UK, many cheap imitation tonics that are sold in supermarkets actually contain lots of nasties that make your afternoon G&T a lot worse for you.

Tim Warrillow, the co-founder of the British tonic brand Fever Tree, said that good quality gin is being watered down with bad tasting, cheap tonic. This in turn has led to a decrease in popularity of the traditional drink.

“Right from the start we looked at this very differently, we looked at the category, we looked at the fact that really the category had been epitomised by cost-cutting and so ingredients were starting to be swapped out for cheaper artificial ones,” Tim told Metro online.

Tonic water with large bubbles can make it go flat in next to no time
Tonic water with large bubbles can make it go flat in next to no time

He warned consumers to watch out for what’s in their tonic, and especially for saccharine – what he considers to be the “worst tasting” artificial sweetner.

Tim says that the artificial sweetners create larger, more aggressive bubbles that will also make the tonic go flat quicker.

“We use just natural sugars so our liquid is more viscous and the bubbles are smaller and more refined.”

Where did gin & tonic come from?
Gin and tonic cocktails were first introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India. Doctors had already discovered that quinine could be used to help prevent and treat Malaria – which was prevalent in the region.

The quinine was drunk in tonic water but the bitter taste was quite unpalatable. For that reason, British officers took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine in order to make it nicer to drink.

Modern tonic water contains less quinine and is often sweetened, so it’s nowhere near as bitter as back in the day.