Gin enthusiasts Nick Crispini and Lawrence Mason created Bermondsey Tonic Water (BTW) in 2013. For the opening of the 214 Bermondsey cocktail bar in the basement of an old antiques shop in South London, they had assembled a collection of over 100 gins and had started experimenting with different tonics.
They found that too many of the commercially available tonics obscured the individual flavours of the gins they had selected for the bar, often with excessive sweetness. Eager for a challenge, they decided to create their own tonic using natural ingredients which would complement rather than overpower the flavours of their gins.
Delving into the history of tonic, they researched traditional Victorian recipes and discovered the original source of quinine used in tonics was the Cinchona tree native to South America.
Rather than using quinine extracts, Nick and Lawrence soak Cinchona bark in heated water in small batches to draw out the quinine slowly. This gives their tonic a distinctive rich golden yellow hue. The only other ingredients added to this are natural sugar, citric acid and carbonated water, resulting in an elegant and crisp tonic with sweet earthy notes and hints of Chinese black tea.
They decided to launch BTW as an undiluted tonic syrup – an intensely aromatic concoction which you can tailor exactly to your own taste by the amount of soda you add to create a distinctly personalised tonic water. A ready to drink version mixed with soda soon followed, firmly establishing BTW as one of the leading craft tonics with devotees across the country.
By focusing on classic flavours and sourcing the best natural ingredients, Nick and Lawrence have created a superbly balanced, refreshing and elegant tonic which is a must try for every gin & tonic enthusiast.