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Hansen's Tonic Water

e_bone Jul 21, 2013 06:51 AM

My Trader Joe's sells 1/2 sized cans for ~$2.50/6 pack. What a very nice find! It has a bright, natural tasting citrus flavor. I wish it was a touch more bitter and a touch less sweet but I understand we're trying to please 'Mericuns so you get what you get.

So here is a very unofficial tasting scorecard based on top of mind experience:

Hansen's: B+
Schweppe's: B-
Kroger: C-
Seagram's: C
Canada Dry: D+

Has anyone developed something for the Soda Streamers out there yet?

I never splurged for the boutique tonic waters as the pricing honestly just makes me laugh. I think Q and Fever Tree cost more than a premium gin I might mix them with.

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  1. c
    cobpdx RE: e_bone Jul 21, 2013 10:32 AM

    Nice tip, thanks. I like the idea of a smaller quantity. Hopefully our TJs carries it so we can try it.

    1. SWISSAIRE RE: e_bone Jul 21, 2013 10:37 PM


      To 1 litre of soda stream water, add a little of the Sodastream Tonic syrup, a bit of home-made cinchona syrup ( cinchona bark cooked in water with lime, orange peel, cardamon, juniper, lime juice, then cooled and fine strained 2x ), and a dash or real lemon or lime juice.

      We like it bitter, but not bitter sweet, hence the absence of sugar or sweetener in the cinchona syrup. More like a thick tea.

      For 12 years I've owned a Rösle fine inox strainer without using it but occasionally. A few years ago with the addition of our Sodastream, it became very useful when making and straining cinchona, ginger, citron, and wild berries for syrup mixes.

      Chill well before serving.

      I see that Sodastream is introducing a Lime syrup. I haven't tried it as yet, but that might enhance the mix above.

      As you mention, premium Gin can be a secondary value to some of the premium tonic waters sold, ounce for ounce. Such Gin would only be served neat here. Anything mixed would not be a premium gin, as it would be hidden by the tonic mix..

      1. c
        curseofleisure RE: e_bone Jul 22, 2013 04:28 PM

        It has become the tonic water I use the most of. Similar to the industry standard, Schweppes, but with a fresher, brighter taste and no hfcs. Dig the can size and price.

        1. a
          andieb RE: e_bone Jul 23, 2013 09:55 AM

          Love the half can. I have been buying them since last summer at TJ's in the Boston area. No waste..

          3 Replies
          1. re: andieb
            Gio RE: andieb Jul 24, 2013 06:36 AM

            By "the Boston area" do you mean Cambridge or someplace else? We shop at the Saugus TJ's and wonder if they carry Hansen's, I'll have to look. They don't sell liquor at that store but do sell soda.

            I really like a G & T with muddled lime and lots of ice but up to now have been using Schweppes cut 1/2 & 1/2 with plain seltzer. Schweppes is just too sweet to suit me.

            1. re: Gio
              andieb RE: Gio Jul 24, 2013 07:41 AM

              I have seen the small cans at both Mem Drive, and Fresh Pond. And in Newton as well... I always assumed they all carried the small cans. They have other flavors as well in the short cans, but can't remember at this point what it may be..Perhaps club soda..

              1. re: andieb
                andieb RE: andieb Jul 24, 2013 07:44 AM

                And as I think about this, I have purchased from Burlington as well..

          2. k
            kimfair1 RE: e_bone Jul 23, 2013 10:30 AM

            What are the volumes on the half cans? My wife loves Q Tonic, but due to the cost, we usually only buy them on sale (and use Schweppe's instead when they're not). On sale a 4 pack of 6.3oz Q tonics are $6.25. I use one bottle to make 2 G&T's for her. (she likes them strong - I do 3oz gin w/about 3oz Q with lots of ice and two lime wedges in a 12oz glass).

            If the half bottles only make one drink, then the cost isn't hugely lower than Q (63 cents/drink for Hansen's vs 78 cents/drink for Q). Not being a G&T fan, I can say that I do like the flavor of a G&T made with Q more than with Schweppe's.

            If the half bottle would make 2 drinks, then, I'd be willing to give it a go.

            8 Replies
            1. re: kimfair1
              JMF RE: kimfair1 Jul 24, 2013 06:19 AM

              The Hansen's are a six pak of 8 oz. cans at $2.50 ($0.05 per oz.) So they are 1/5th the price of a four pack Q Tonic at $6.25 ($0.25 per oz.)

              1. re: JMF
                kimfair1 RE: JMF Jul 24, 2013 09:43 AM

                Thanks, we'll give them a try. I don't mind paying for the Q (when it's on sale, the regular price is over $8 for 4 bottles), but it's nice to have alternatives.

                1. re: kimfair1
                  TroyTempest RE: kimfair1 Jul 24, 2013 10:06 AM

                  Where i live Fever Tree costs less than Q. I like it about as much.

                  1. re: TroyTempest
                    BeefeaterRocks RE: TroyTempest Jul 24, 2013 11:37 AM

                    I bought Fever Tree Mediterranean at my Grocery Outlet for $2.49. I didn't read the fine print that it was "specifically designed to pair with premium vodkas", but it made a very good G&T. I usually use Schweppes diet.

                    1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                      rcb4d RE: BeefeaterRocks Jul 24, 2013 11:54 AM

                      If you liked the Mediterranean in your G&T, I think you'll love the Indian which was made for gin. Fever Tree has spoiled me with respect to store-bought tonics.

                      1. re: rcb4d
                        BeefeaterRocks RE: rcb4d Jul 24, 2013 12:27 PM

                        Wish I could try it, my problem is that I live in a small town and all the markets only carry the usual, Schweppes, Canada Dry and store brands. The Fever Tree was a rare find. I'm making a liquor run to California tomorrow, I'll see if they have it.

                        1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                          rcb4d RE: BeefeaterRocks Jul 24, 2013 12:38 PM

                          A couple of options to consider - you can buy Fever Tree sample packs online, as well as tonic water samplers. KegWorks will even sell bottles individually, but you'll pay more in shipping than you do the bottle.

                          If you commit to drinking Fever Tree, the best option is cases of 24 bottles from Amazon, which amount to $1.50 per bottle. I have Amazon Prime, thus shipping is free, so it's by far the best deal going.

                          (sorry to hijack the Hansen's thread with my Fever Tree infomercial)

                          1. re: rcb4d
                            BeefeaterRocks RE: rcb4d Jul 25, 2013 01:22 PM

                            Success, $5.99 plus tax. Excellent G&T, thanks for the rec.

            2. TroyTempest RE: e_bone Jul 23, 2013 02:03 PM

              I, too was excited to see these. However, I was disappointed in the taste. As i recall, not very quininey.
              I find Schweppes, Refreshe (from Safeway or Randall's) to be better tasting at this price point.
              And Fever Tree, Q, etc if you want to spend more are all better.
              Canad Dry is my least favorite, and it is about on par with that, unless you count White Rock.

              1. SWISSAIRE RE: e_bone Jul 23, 2013 04:25 PM

                I take it that Britvic is not available in North America then ?

                2 Replies
                1. re: SWISSAIRE
                  JMF RE: SWISSAIRE Jul 24, 2013 06:43 AM

                  I haven't seen it here in the US. It may be available in Canada.

                  1. re: JMF
                    SWISSAIRE RE: JMF Jul 24, 2013 10:00 AM

                    Thanks JMF

                2. JMF RE: e_bone Jul 24, 2013 06:42 AM

                  I personally don't think that Hansen's tonic is that great. It's in the class of regular and bargain tonic, except it is made with cane sugar which means a slightly cleaner taste. It isn't in the same level as Fever Tree.

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