Cigar Aficionado

A Tonic for What Ails You

Whenever I feel a touch of the malaria coming on or it just gets hot like it does this time of year, I always think of one thing—or two things actually: quinine tonic and gin (or vodka or rum, you get the picture).

The good news about the ultimate summer drink last year was that Fever-Tree, a maker of drink mixers, had introduced an all-natural quinine tonic water made with quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree, the original and most concentrated source of quinine (most standard tonic water contains the cheaper and less intense Remijia tree bark as its quinine source). The better news this year is that we now have two choices in boutique quinine water with the introduction of Q Tonic, made with quinine harvested from Peru.

Both are all-natural products and lower in sugar (and calorie) content, allowing the taste of the quinine to show through. Q Tonic uses agave as sweetener, while Fever-Tree uses fruit sugar. For you Atkins dieters, the carb counts on both are also significantly lower.

Despite all the similarities, the two have quite different taste profiles, which to me is a good thing. More choices in a category populated by drab sameness. While Fever-Tree ( is intense with a slightly bitter tang, the Q ( is clear and bright. 

I'm feverish just writing about it. Or is it just warm in here? Where's that bottle of gin?