Schweppes Indian Tonic Water

Some will love it with their Gin – of which there now appears to be literally thousands of different colours, fragrances and botanical varieties – others with their Vodka – a Stolichnaya for me, thank you. Some will even love it on its own with ice and lemon or with a splash of Angostura Bitters – a favourite of mine – see our easier post here Angostura Bitters . Whilst a trend has evolved over the last few years to add Hibiscus, Rose or Cardamon to a humble tonic water there is, for me, really only one, drum roll…. Schweppes Indian Tonic Water

Often described as the “Oldest Soft Drink in the World”, Schweppes Indian Tonic Water dates back to 1771. There are no doubt many in particularly dry countries that will dispute this – probably with some justification and with a glass of mint tea or pomegranate juice based concoction in their hand. However, for our appreciation of this iconic product and its presentation – including the very simple and stylise bottle – as in our featured image re-imaging the original oval bodied bottle I am happy to accept this as an accolade for delicious and refreshing Schweppes Indian Tonic Water.

In the late 18th century, Johann Jacob Schweppe, developed and patented a process to manufacture carbonated mineral water and founded the Schweppes Company in Geneva (Switzerland) in 1783 to sell his wares. In 1792, he moved to London.

In 1836 King William IV granted Schweppe’s Tonic Water a Royal Warrant, which, as you’ll anticipate, significantly helped to grow his brand. In 1843, Schweppes commercialised Malvern Water at the Holywell Spring in the Malvern Hills.

The 1851 Great Exhibition honoured Schweppes by making Indian Tonic Water its official drink. The event held to great acclaim at the Crystal Palace in South London is also commemorated by a depiction of its fountain that continues – over a hundred and sixty five years later – to be featured on the product’s logo today.

For many years, and being from a family who spent a long time in Africa with the attendant increased risk of diseases such as malaria, it is not merely an “Old Wives Tale” that judicious amounts of this product could provide a level of protection. This is not, although it has been over the years an excuse to consume prodigious quantities of Schweppes Indian Tonic Water with, particularly, Gin, but a brief look at the ingredients shows that in addition to Carbonated Water, Sugar and Citric Acid certain of the Flavourings do include Quinine.

In 1969, the Schweppes Company merged with Cadbury only to be split in 2008 with Schweppes now nestling, perhaps curiously, under the wing of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Schweppes Indian Tonic Water is distributed in the UK by Coca Cola.