12 Tonics to Christmas: Espresso Tonic

During my research and development of the #12TonicsToChristmas series, I came across an interesting concoction which seemed strange and innovative.

I will honestly tell you, my curiosity got the better of me.

Now this is not a new fad or trend, there’s articles dating back four and even five years ago when this was an emerging trend in European cafes and coffee shops.  Today we get the most-needed kick of caffeine (especially this time of the year) and combine it with the refreshing Franklin & Sons Tonic Water.

This drink just looks so damn sexy and gives you the opportunity to show off in a massive way.  The separated layers created by the viscosity of the freshly brewed coffee and the chilled tonic water seems like magic.

Tip: Use “proper coffee” to make this drink; or it will taste utterly vile.

Now there’s a few opinions out there about the *Coffee & Tonic drink situation.

*Also referred to as the Cafe Tonic, or Espresso Tonic.

According to the article, “Is Espresso & Tonic a Match Made in Heaven or Hell?” on https://www.perfectdailygrind.com, this is somehow an acquired taste and there’s numerous reasons why it DOESN’T work…

Why The Basic E&T Fails

There were some inherent problems with my E&T:

1. The Chemical Reaction

The espresso’s oils and heat caused the CO2 in the tonic to quickly dissipate (making the drink lose its sparkle by the third sip).

2. The Stirring

It’s safe to say that most people immediately stir a layered drink. Yet after I did so, the espresso made my E&T chalky and opaque. The ice cubes also melted quicker because of the stirring action, so the drink became diluted.

3. The Dilution:

The ‘complex bitterness’ of the tonic water wasn’t too bad, but without the fizz, it tasted like flat lemon-lime soda. The extra dilution from the melted ice also brought out an unpleasant astringency.

By Christine Seah and edited by T. Newton.


This drink was never meant to be a “sipping drink”; however the quality of coffee, the temperature and the addition of a tonic will determine the success (or failure) of this concoction.

Give it a go and decide for yourself if this will form part of your coffee-repertoire.  You will most definitely be a “trend setter” for the less-informed.

travel in style

12 Tonics to Christmas (10)



  • 1 cup of double espresso (Nespresso)
  • Franklin & Sons Tonic Water: 200 ml
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 lemon/orange (depends on the flavour of the coffee)

First, the ice cubes are added into the glass, on which you then pour about ⅔ of Tonic Water. It depends a little bit on which Tonic Water you choose and what taste result you want at the end.  Slowly pour the espresso on the tonic. It is up to you whether you prefer the lighter mixture with just one espresso and thus less caffeine or the stronger one with a double shot.


Franklin & Sons products were first introduced in 1886 and the Franklin brothers quickly established themselves as experts in creating authentic, high quality recipes made from delicious hand-picked ingredients. An ethos which continues today in the new range of premium tonics and mixers.

Today’s range was developed to ensure the flavours are well balanced and bring out the best in spirits. The foundation of the Franklin & Sons tonic and mixer range is Staffordshire water and finest British sugar with the highest carbonation possible to lift the most delicate botanicals of any spirit. The range only uses natural flavours, extracts and colours and never include preservatives or sweeteners.


franklin-sons-natural-light-indian-tonic-water-200ml_temp.jpgQuaint & nostalgic bottles of Tonic Water…find out more about them here:

Franklin & Sons Website

Facebook: @franklinandsons

Twitter: @franklinandsons

Instagram: @franklinandsons/



3 Comments Add yours

  1. One of those strange things in life, 2 things that sounds vile together, actually work perfectly. Espresso and tonic is one of them. Love this combo.


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