Much like Gin, Tonic has seen an explosion in recent years. Super premium brands have emerged and none more so than in Spain, the modern home of the G&T and whose Copa glass serve has seen renewed interest in the classic drink soar. Moreover, Madrid and Barcelona’s affection for the G&T have forced it to evolve. It has been taken out of tired highball glassware, accentuated with innovative garnish pairings and almost become ritualistic with the showmanship of pouring the tonic down a long bar spoon.
In many ways, 1724 Tonic Water is the embodiment of this renewed affection to both the G&T as well as the increased demand for higher quality products. It was deliberately designed to be a premium quality Tonic water that would accompany those super- premium spirits.
1724 takes its name from the altitude where it harvests that key component to all tonics – quinine. The quinine they use is hand-picked at 1,724 metres above sea level on the Peruvian Inca Trail. Although there are still relatively few tonics available (in comparison to the hundreds of gins) it’s quite rare for the location and the designated requirements to be so exact.
The result is a very fresh, bright tonic water which is a less bitter in comparison to other tonics. It’s not sweet by any means, simply light on the quinine. 1724 Tonic is also very effervescent, which gives a beautiful zesty nose and a crisp finish. It’s easy to see how it was intended to compliment a gin, as it doesn’t overpower with bold flavours but neither is it a blank canvas.
Much like a gentleman in a tailored tuxedo, it stands there perfectly designed to accompany the most elegant of dates. It is classic enough to not take the limelight should it be paired with something a little more striking and which desired to be the center of attention. Made by the same producer, it will come as no surprise to anyone that 1724 Tonic goes particularly well with Gin Mare. While the tonic was designed with wider market appeal and certainly achieves this on many levels – the two are hard to separate.
Perhaps it’s because the Mediterranean botanicals suit the bittersweet taste of the tonic or perhaps it’s because the bubbles are finer and more akin to those of Champagne, which suit the herbal nature of the gin. Regardless of why, it is certainly a perfect match.
Over the course of 2014, 1724 Tonic and Gin Mare became (from an international perspective) symbols of the resurgent Spanish market along with Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia’s appetite for the G&T. It’s hard to see how this progression is not set to continue into 2015 and while the tonic landscape is set to become busier with new entrants to the market – 1724 have firm foundations on which to build. With increasing popularity in the UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium (where the G&T craze is huge…) and in Latin America, 1724 already have fans the world over.
In the wider context of the tonic family, 1724 Tonic currently occupies a unique position somewhere between the homemade and often intense artisanal tonic waters and the commercial tonics using artificial flavourings. It doesn’t alienate taste buds unaccustomed to the less artificial and fresher tonics that can often be quite bitter, but neither is it just another tonic on the shelf. 1724 Tonic offers enough of a difference to stand out compared to other commercial sodas. It’s a worthy addition to the category and worth seeking out.
With its gracefully formed 200ml bottles finding their way onto more shelves in bars and stores alike – we expect to see more people doing just that and for 1724 Tonic to have a very successful few years ahead.
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