Reviewed by Shel
So, with lockdown and like so many others, we have built a bar in our garden. It’s all ready for when we can start having family and friends over, especially those, who, like me, love their gins. I now have a shelf specially dedicated to my array of gins, tonic waters and now my Butler & Brewer tonic enhancers.
Why have I not heard, seen, read or tasted these before. It is for this reason that I had to do more research and led me to calling the company to find out more about them.
When I called Butler & Brewer, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to the lovely L (editor’s note – edited to just initial of the person’s name) as I had a question to ask, I’ll come on to that shortly. To say he was such a polite, helpful and extremely true gentleman is an understatement. We spoke for nearly 30 minutes and his help, advise and support was invaluable. I explained that I had not heard of the company before, to which he responded saying that they only launched in November 2020. They do not supply to supermarkets etc; and to be honest, for me, I think it is great to support independent companies as they get all the profit. Now talking of profit, L also explained that they do a lot of charity work too. In the week of the TV series ‘It’s A Sin’ being shown, the company donated a percentage of their sales to the Terrence Higgins Trust and at the time of writing this review (Friday 12th March 2021), they are/were also donating 15% of their sales to ‘CoppaFeel Breast Cancer Charity’ which dates from 7th to 14th March 2021 to celebrate Mothers Day and Women’s International Day.
L went on to ask what my favourite non-flavoured gin(s) were. As soon as I told him it was Hendricks, he told me that I was going to have a blast of a time trying out these tonic enhancers. He then suggested Tanqueray and at that point, pointed me in the direction of the FAQ’s on their website as there is a link that takes you to a ‘Pairing’ page; as along the way with their testing, they found some particularly special gins that worked really well. Here is the link to that pairing page https://www.butlerandbrewer.co.uk/pairings/
L took the time to explain the best measurements of gin, tonic water and tonic enhancer and they truly did work, just bare in mind that we all have different taste buds and you may want to adapt them accordingly. So, here is what L suggested with a fare amount of ice to which I tried:-
25ml non-favoured gin
150ml non-flavoured tonic water
4 dashes of tonic enhancer
50ml non flavoured gin
220ml non-flavoured tonic water
6 dashes of tonic enhancer
I tried the tonic enhances with a number of non-flavoured gins which I’ve outlined below and boom! These are an absolute revelation and to say they are blooming awesome is an understatement.
2. Bombay Saphire
I have to say, the later measurements worked for me, other than the Hibiscus, I stuck to the 4 dashes and my comments about that particular flavour is below.
If you go onto the company Facebook page, you’ll see posts relating to the difference tonic enhancers and you can see fresh fruit and herbs are also added to the drinks, this for me is like icing on a cake!
I love the fact that they are suitable for vegans, gluten free, dairy free and no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. These are all very important to me, especially with regard to artificial sweeteners as a lot of tonics have Aspartame which I do not like at all.
These flavours are a real game changer for me and as previously mentioned, I stuck with non-flavoured tonic water and non flavoured gin, my favourite being Hendricks. Not only does it mean it’s cheaper but I get to use which flavours I like best and saves money buying overly expensive flavoured tonic waters and gins.
ELDERFLOWER, CUCUMBER AND APPLE
What an absolutely delightful tonic enhancer this is. It is has a very clean, crisp and refreshing taste. The aroma from the elderflower and apple is pure delight with the cucumber giving it that cool refreshing taste.
HIBISCUS, LIME AND POMEGRANATE
This is quite a floral one, too floral for me, however, it did not nor does it stop me from using it as I now use just 2 dashes as opposed to the 4 dashes as recommended. With the 2 dashes, there is a hint of taste, just enough for me with this one and so lovely. The lime and pomegranate makes it yet, another clean and refreshing tonic enhancer.
RASPBERRY, BASIL AND LIME
WOW, WOW, WOW! This has to be my favourite out of the three that I tried!
Now this one is… well, amazing… I am loving the basil especially, it does not take much for me to have a dish without this awesome herb and now to have it in a drink with my gin… I feel like I am in heaven. The once again, refreshing lime and with a the deliciousness fruity taste from the raspberry, this makes for a combination of the perfect summer tonic enhancer with a non-flavoured gin. Just to note, you do not have to wait for summer, it is perfect anytime lol.
RRP: £15.00 each or you can get a box of 5 for £55.00. The box of 5 also includes Orange, Thyme & Lemongrass and Rosemary, Mint & Lemon.
Butler and Brewer offer FREE Postage and Packaging on order over £29.00, so it is perfect if you just need to top up with a couple of bottles, although, I will find it hard not to go for the box of 5.
Once open, each tonic enhancer can last up to 6 months but to be honest, it is not going to last that long in my house nor with my gin friends lol.
This product can be purchased from the Butler and Brewer website here.