Fever-Tree’s range of dark spirit mixers has been specially created to pair with the complex and sophisticated flavours of whisky, cognac, bourbon and rum
So you’ve spent your money on a premium gin, lovingly created with exotic botanicals by a boutique distiller. But what do you mix it with? This was the dilemma faced by Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow, founders of Fever-Tree, who discovered that their only options were tonics full of artificial preservatives and sweeteners.
The pair very sensibly thought that premium gin deserves premium tonic and so began months of research, with visits to the British Library to learn more about the history of quinine – the key ingredient in tonic. Their research led them to Africa, and an area on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here they discovered quinine of the highest quality in the last remaining plantation of the cinchona tree, known locally as the ‘fever tree’.
The quinine was blended with eight other naturally sourced botanicals and spring water to create Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. Launched in 2005, it was an instant hit with discerning drinkers. Since then the Fever-Tree family has expanded to include Sicilian Lemon, Elderflower, Mediterranean and Aromatic tonics – meaning none of us have to drink a sub-standard G&T ever again.
But the good news doesn’t stop there, as Fever-Tree has also introduced a range of premium mixers that are perfect with complex dark spirits such as whisky, bourbon and rum. “We have identified the same trends emerging within dark spirits that led to the rise in premium gin consumption, including ‘premiumisation’, the growth of cocktail culture and the rise of craft distilleries,” explains Warrillow.
“Globally, premium dark spirits, including whiskeys, rums and brandies, are the most-consumed premium spirits, making up 60% of the total premium spirits consumption compared to gin at just 6%,” he adds.
Like Fever-Tree’s tonics, the mixers are made with ingredients sourced from specialist suppliers across the world. “As with all products in our range, these drinks are made using the highest quality naturally sourced ingredients and perfectly complement the flavour profiles of dark spirits,” says Warrillow.
The result is a range of premium mixers that bartenders in the capital are already using in classic dark spirit serves – look out for Fever-Tree in top bars such as Black Rock, The Blind Pig and Swift. Even better, you can easily recreate these mixed drinks and classic cocktails with Fever-Tree at home (see box: Fever-Tree Perfect Serves).
Taste the range
The dark spirits mixers range includes Madagascan Cola, Premium Ginger Ale, Premium Ginger Beer and Premium Soda Water, plus two new ginger ales which were launched last autumn: Smoky Ginger Ale and Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. With their subtle and sophisticated flavours and delicate bubbles, they will enhance the complex flavours and aromas of a range of dark spirits.
Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola is made from ingredients including Nigerian kola nut, Indonesian cassia and Madagascan vanilla, and can enhance the spicy notes found in dark spirits. Try it in simple mixes with dark rum, blended whisky or añejo tequila.
The long-lasting ginger character of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is created with a blend of three unique gingers from Nigeria, Cochin and the Ivory Coast. Its persistent taste makes it ideal in long cocktail serves.
The distinctive taste of Fever-Tree Ginger Ale is again down to the blend of three signature gingers. But the flavour is given added complexity by subtle citrus notes. Clean and fresh, it’s ideal paired with whisky.
What about the newest additions to the range? Fever-Tree Smoky Ginger Ale is a combination of the unique blend of signature gingers, with smoked applewood and subtle citrus. It’s great with American whiskies and bourbons. While the recipe for Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale adds South African sweet clementines and Sri Lankan spicy cinnamon to the signature gingers, creating a mixer that complement the rich, full-bodied flavours of cognacs and rums.
Where to find Fever-Tree
Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola is available in Sainsbury’s (£1.69/500ml)
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer is available in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco (£1.69/500ml or £3/4x200ml)
Fever-Tree Smoky Ginger Ale and Spiced Orange Ginger Ale are available in dark spirit specialist bars across the UK
Fever-Tree Perfect Serves
Ultimate Cuba Libre
• 50ml Havana Club Especial Rum
• 200ml Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola
Garnish: 2 lime wedges
Method: Fill a glass with lots of ice. Squeeze and drop the lime wedges into the glass. Pour in the rum, top with the cola and stir gently to mix.
Ultimate Rum and Ginger
• 50ml Havana Club 7yo Rum
• 200ml Fever-Tree Ginger Beer to top
Garnish: Lime wedge
Method: Fill a glass with lots of ice. Pour in the rum and top with the ginger beer. Stir gently to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.
Ultimate Whisky and Ginger
• 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
• 200ml Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Garnish: Orange twist
Method: Fill a glass with lots of ice. Pour in the whisky, top with the ginger ale and stir gently to mix. Garnish with an orange twist.