Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that derives its somewhat bitter taste from the addition of quinine. It is usually flavored with lemon or lime, lots of sugar, and often contains caffeine. Tonic is a frequent mixer in cocktails, most famous for its use in gin and tonic, though vodka with tonic water is also popular. This beverage may additionally be used with sweet alcohols, like vermouth, to produce a balanced taste. Tonic water was first patented in England in the mid 19th century. In the mid 20th century the company Schweppes®, known for their ginger ale, introduced it to the United States. When tonic water was first produced, people concluded that a few gin and tonics would be good for the health and prevent malaria. Though tonic water lacks enough quinine to reduce symptoms of malaria, it still is called a "tonic" meaning essentially healthful, from its use of quinine. There is no known benefit to consuming tonic water, which has a sugar content equivalent to most sodas. Nevertheless, the name and the drink remain popular.
How to select
Look for tonic water which is light-bodied, and clean with a minimal amount of congeners (flavor compounds) and flavoring agents. Most tonic water today contains a less significant amount of quinine, and is thus used mostly for its flavour. As a consequence, it is less bitter, and is also usually sweetened. Sweet tonic water may contain corn syrup or sugar, making it less bitter. Some manufacturers also produce diet tonic water, which may contain artificial sweeteners.
" Tonic water (or Indian tonic water) is a carbonated soft drink flavoured with quinine, which gives it a distinctively bitter taste.
" Tonic water is often used as a drink mixer for cocktails, especially those made with gin or vodka (for example, a gin and tonic).
" Tonic water with lemon or lime flavour added is known as bitter lemon or bitter lime.
" Tonic water can be used to make cocktails. Some examples of these include the Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Sidecar
" For an elegant bread spread, combine one stick of softened butter, finely grated zest of one orange, 2 Tablespoons of orange marmalade, and 1 Tablespoon of tonic water. This mixture also makes a wonderful glaze for poultry.
" Experiment by adding a bit of tonic water to any citrus-flavored dish and create your own recipe.
How to store
Store tonic water in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight.
" The presence of quinine in tonic water makes it a helpful remedy for leg cramps, due to its muscle relaxant properties.
" Since it is sweetened, it tends to be rich in calories and should ebe avoided as a drink mixer by weight watchers or diabetics.