Match your T to your G

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Tonic water in South Africa

Famously paired with gin, there’s much more to tonic than meets the eye. As the tonic amounts to three-quarters of a G&T, it should ideally be top-notch. A mediocre tonic is a sure-fire way to spoil a good gin. Instead, tart up your gin with these winners.

If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to get hold of the virgin unadulterated Symmetry tonics by the Geometric Drinks Company. Explained Cape Town producer Jean-Baptiste Cristini, ‘Our tonics are produced in their true concentrated form, made from whole botanicals with minimal sugar content. And each recipe is balanced with savoury, tart and bitter flavours.’ The variants are: buchu-based Citrus Tonic; spice- and kapokbos-based Spice Tonic; and lavender, chamomile and rose pelargonium-based Floral Tonic.
Buy: Yuppiechef; geometricdrinks.co.za.

Made in Jo’burg by Pieter Oosthuizen, Socks tonic cocktail syrup concentrates come in five flavours: grapefruit, naartjie, lemon, citrus and guava. Although a tad bitter, they give gin a savoury flavour for added complexity.
Buy: Norman Goodfellows; Makro.

Oenologist Hanneli van der Merwe and Chris Wium produce Barker & Quin premium tonics free of artificial sweeteners, colourants and flavourants. Their citrus flavours and spices are created from distilled essences, the quinine is harvested from DRC-derived Chinchona tree bark, while the spring water is from the Breede River’s Slanghoek Valley.
Buy: Woolworths; Takealot; Yuppiechef.

Cederberg Aqua tonic waters are made with pure spring water flowing through layers of Cape sandstone in the Cederberg. The brainchild of Lieben van der Merwe, this all-natural range is available in Classic, Rose, Blueberry and several sugar-free options.
Buy: cedarbergaqua.com; Takealot.