If you browse the mixers at a high-end grocery or spirits store these days you’re bound to find an assortment of tonic waters. My personal favourite is Fever Tree’s Elderflower tonic, Try it, it’s fantastic.
Tonics can be great to help bring out the flavour of the spirit that you’re drinking, but they can also sometimes be a bit overwhelming, especially when you really want to taste that spirit that you’re mixing that cocktail with.
This week while travelling in Japan I had an interesting take on a tonic drink: a sonic. A quick Google search reveals that Sonics have been a thing for a bit now, but it was something I had never seen before.
Happy weekend, everyone, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour, the weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations. This week I want to talk to you about a deceptively simply, though very worthwhile cocktail: The Scotch highball.
Sonic stands for Soda and Tonic. To make one you essentially half the amount of tonic water you would traditionally use in a drink and replace it with soda water, making it a Sonic.
The Sonic I had was at the Nikka Blender’s Bar in Tokyo. Rather than gin, I was drinking a highball with Nikka’s whisky. While highballs (liquor and soda water) have become a long-standing go-to for me when drinking whisky, I had never considered mixing a whisky with tonic water.
I’m here to tell you it’s delicious and you should absolutely give it a try.
One hot tip from a Tokyo bartender I talked to: don’t use a fancy tonic water. While my beloved Elderflower tonic is perfect for a straight G&T, if you’re making a Sonic you want to go for something a bit more traditional that doesn’t have exceptionally bold flavours.
That $3 bottle of tonic from the convenience store down the street will do just fine.
Grab an inexpensive bottle of tonic and a bottle of soda and be prepared to discover your new fave drink.
This story has been updated since its original publication.