Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Jul 21, 2013 06:51 AM

Hansen's Tonic Water

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Nice tip, thanks. I like the idea of a smaller quantity. Hopefully our TJs carries it so we can try it.

    1. Yes.

      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. 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. 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

            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

              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

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

          2. 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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: TroyTempest

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

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