Fever-Tree Premium Mixers - Review
by Barnaby Hughes
The cinchona tree was named for the Countess of Chinchon after it was used to cure the malaria she contracted while living in Peru in the 1600s. It's popularly known as the fever tree, as its bark produces natural quinine which lowers fever. The British first created tonic water in the 1800s by mixing this quinine with sugar and water. Most tonic waters today, however, are made with synthetic quinine, but Fever-Tree uses the only cinchona tree plantation developed from the original Peruvian variety, which was discovered by the company's founder on the war-torn Rwanda-Congo border.
Fever-Tree's ever-expanding line of premium mixers is the answer to the question: why combine expensive spirits with substandard mixers? This natural quinine, along with bitter orange, African marigold and coriander and lime oils are the flavorful ingredients in Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. The UK-based company also produces Light Tonic Water, with 45 per cent fewer calories, and Mediterranean Tonic Water, a vodka mixer that employs Sicilian lemon oils, as well as other products.
Fever-Tree distinguishes itself by using high-quality, natural ingredients, instead of artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. Matching quality mixers with quality spirits, though, is not the only, or even the primary, aim. Fever-Tree mixers bring out the flavors of the spirits they're mixed with, rather than masking them. A high-level of carbonation gives the mixers a soft, clean bite, while natural cane sugars keep the taste light, without the cloying sweetness associated with many soft drinks.
We enjoyed the "G & T"s made from mixing Fever-Tree tonic waters with gin, and found their Club Soda to be an excellent addition to whisky, while the more versatile Ginger Ale works well with rum, whiskey and tequila. Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, much different from root beer, tastes great on its own or in a Moscow Mule cocktail, while we found the Bitter Lemon enhanced the flavor of vodka and gin.
Packaged in small, 6.8 oz (200 ml) bottles ideal for single or double servings, Fever-Tree Premium Mixers cost more, but we found the investment worthwhile.
$5.99 for a 4-pack