Fever-Tree tonic waters puts the ‘T’ in G&T
The brand rep for Fever-Tree Tonic Water said it perfectly at their recent gin and tonic tasting event at Donovans in St Kilda: ‘If three quarters of your drink is the mixer, then why not use the best?’ It seems intuitive, but one too many of us can admit to having chugged back some rather mediocre G&Ts in our time. Whether you’re looking to feel that blissful state of intoxication or simply cool down on a balmy Melbourne afternoon, there’s no excuse for skimping on the quality of your bubbly gin counterpart. And in a market that’s brimming with tonic options, Fever-Tree emerges in the forefront as a reliable, high quality product.
It’s a sunny day at Donovans on St Kilda beach and all the components of a perfect G&T drinking scenario are here. I’m sitting beachside with the condensation from my Hendricks and Elderflower G&T running down my hand. We’re invited into the dining room of Donovans, where a long table has been set with buckets of Fever-Tree Tonic Water, five glasses of different gins on each place mat, and a variety of garnishes assembled on white platters. The Fever-Tree presenters take us through each pairing one by one, explaining the philosophy behind complementing certain gins with their range of tonics.
We start with the global classic – Bombay Sapphire Gin and Indian Tonic Water, garnished with a slice of lemon.The classic G&T is as much a part of Melbourne’s bloodstream as high quality coffee. Fever-Tree has big shoes to fill, but sets itself apart without debate by mastering the ideal combination of 100% all natural ingredients with perfectly crafted carbonation. By using only natural oils in the tonics to keep the bubbles small, Fever-Tree allows the flavors in the gin to be transported more effectively. Lower quality tonics with large bubbles tend to overwhelm the palate with big bursts of flavor. Fever-Tree also packages their tonics in single serve bottles, so that the carbonation isn’t lost over time. What emerges is a classic G&T that is crisp, fresh, and doesn’t feel sticky on the tongue.
Over the next couple hours, we sample four other drinks – each one getting further from the conventional gin and tonic.
Rogue Society Gin, a delicate and smooth spirit, complements the Naturally Light Tonic Water without overpowering the flavour. It has a lower sugar and calorie content without compromising the crispness expected of a G&T.
The floral notes of the Yarra Valle’s Four Pillars Gin is paired with the Mediterranean Tonic Water and finished with complementary flavours of lemon, thyme, and rosemary. Next, G’Vine Gin, a characteristically spicy liquor, coexists beautifully with the sweetness of their Elderflower Tonic Water.
Our final pairing, which is a dreamy light peach color, tastes closer to a boozy lemonade than a classic G&T, is composed of Hayman’s Sloe Gin and Lemon Tonic Water and is the perfect drink to finish off on this sunny afternoon.
Fever-Tree successfully proves the versatility of the G&T. This beverage has emerged to be more than just your grandmother’s afternoon libation, and Fever-Tree is leading the way in its development.
To fully complement the experience, Donovans in St. Kilda brings out beautiful trays of canapés to munch on while we drink. The heirloom tomato pastries and sweet corn fritters, among other treats, serve as much more than just a means of absorbing the liquor. These bite sized eats are the quintessential fusion of the savory saltiness your stomach craves with drinks, complimented by artful presentation and fresh ingredients.
With a sweeping view of the ocean in front of me and an impeccably crafted G&T in hand, I finally understand the importance of that once neglected mixer. Fever-Tree hits the nail on the head when they say that these tonics shouldn’t be referred to as mixers, but instead enliveners. It takes two to tango, and tonic water is no longer sitting on the sidelines.
40 Jacka Blvd, St. Kilda
Open: Mon- Sun 12-5:30pm, 6pm-1am