Australian Distilling Co. | Which is better: Soda or Tonic? The…


Which is better: Soda or Tonic? The Perfect Pairing Dilemma

31 May 2024 Australian Distilling Co.

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When it comes to enjoying a finely crafted gin or vodka, the choice of mixer can make all the difference. The two most popular options, soda water and tonic water, each bring their own unique characteristics to the table. But which one is the best companion for your gin or vodka? Let’s explore the distinct qualities of soda and tonic, and how each one can enhance your drink experience.


What’s the Difference?

Soda Water: Soda water, also known as club soda, is simply carbonated water with added minerals like sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and potassium sulphate. Its clean, crisp taste makes it a versatile mixer that won't overshadow the delicate botanicals in your spirit. Soda water is perfect for those who prefer a lighter, less sweet drink.

Tonic Water: Tonic water, on the other hand, is carbonated water infused with quinine—a bitter compound derived from the bark of the cinchona tree—along with sugar or sweeteners and citrus flavouring. This bitterness, balanced by a touch of sweetness, complements the herbal notes of gin. Tonic water is a staple in the classic gin and tonic cocktail, offering a fuller flavour profile.


Is Soda or Tonic Healthy?

Soda Water: Soda water is essentially calorie-free and contains no sugar, making Vodka & Soda's a healthier choice if you’re watching your calorie or sugar intake. The added minerals in soda water, such as sodium bicarbonate and potassium sulphate, are generally in small amounts and do not significantly impact health. However, if you’re sensitive to sodium, it’s worth checking the label.

Tonic Water: Tonic water contains sugar or sweeteners, which means it has more calories compared to soda water. A typical serving of tonic water can have around 30-40 calories and about 8-10 grams of sugar per 100 ml. The quinine in tonic water, while safe in moderate amounts, can cause issues for some people if consumed in large quantities. If you’re monitoring your sugar intake or managing conditions like diabetes, you might want to opt for diet tonic water or consider soda water as a healthier alternative.

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Interesting Facts About Soda & Tonic

1. Tonic water’s origin is medicinal; British colonial officers in India added gin to their daily dose of quinine to make it more palatable, thus creating the first G&T.

2. The gin and tonic’s popularity soared in the UK, with an estimated 2 billion gin and tonics consumed annually.

3. Soda water was invented in the late 18th century and became a fashionable drink in the 19th century, often mixed with spirits like gin.