Best Kind of Bitter

Our favorite tonic waters and syrups for mixing in cocktails exhibit a range of flavors. This article first appeared in our June/July 2014 issue with Camper English’s story “Miracle Cure.”

byCamper English| PUBLISHED May 15, 2014 9:47 PM
Best Kind of Bitter
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Tonic syrups, which get their brown hue from cinchona bark, are meant to be mixed with the spirit and soda water to create a gin and tonic. These include, from left, citrusy Small Hand Foods, deliciously bitter Wilks & Wilson, and woodsy TomR's. Bottled tonic waters are infused with purified quinine. Choose those sold in glass, which retains carbonation. Q Tonic is sweetened with agave, while Fever Tree uses cane sugar. Zesty Fentiman's is infused with kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass.