Schweppes v. Canada Dry-tonic wars
My wife insists that Schweppes is a superior tonic, but I say that's just whiskey (or gin) talking. I would rather save the $0.60 difference and buy Canada Dry tonic. After all, after the first 1 or 2, who can tell the difference. So, can you tell the difference? Preferences?
I have done many taste tests / reviews, and read plenty of others who agree, Schweppes. For a small cost difference in the general scheme of things, I say why not go for a better product. You're paying a lot more for your gin.
Schweppes is generally considered to be much better tonic than Canada Dry. (I've never heard different, ever.) It wins hands down every time it is tested against it. Not in the premium tonic water category, which is completely owned by Fever-Tree, with Q a struggling second. (I received samples of Fever-Tree before it was even released in the US and was the first person here to review it. I had samples of Q at several times during the development and the first batch made for sale and also reviewed it first.) But against Canada Dry and its ilk.
Some folks like Stirrings, but I don't like it myself, or any of their products except the blood orange bitters. I find them cloying.
365 by Whole Foods is pretty good, but I have found consistency problems with it either too sweet or too light, and not enough quinine.
So if I can't get Fever-Tree, I get Schweppes. The European version is even better, I think it seems less sweet and with a higher quinine level.
One simple test that you can do is to buy a bottle of each, open them then seal them. The next day pour each in a glass. Canada Dry fails miserably.
As JMF has said, Fever-Tree.
It is much smoother than the big names and lets you taste the difference between gins much more clearly.
With such a pittance in cost difference, why would you settle for a poor quality mixer with a really good gin or vodka? Especially if you are dropping $30+ on a bottle of gin/vodka, it would make little sense trying to save .05 a drink on cheap mixer. With me, I even make my own sour mix, because the commercial mixers taste like junk and ruin a good drink.