Espresso Tonic

August, welcome to the month of the birthdays! My birthday was last week - I turned the big 2-7! Officially that much closer to 30... Today is my mom's birthday (don't worry, plenty of wonderful recipes come from our dinner this evening!). My brother and brother-in-law's birthdays are this month, along with a number of cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends. My grandpa came down from Minnesota this weekend to celebrate and we tried out a new drink recipe. How am I just discovering espresso tonics? I love reading food blogs, food emporium websites, and articles and have been seeing more and more talk of this beverage. To be honest, the thought of mixing espresso with tonic water seems less than appetizing. In fact, I assumed it would be rather repulsive. However, being the coffee enthusiast that I am, I had no other choice but to give it a try. Plus, this beverage has been around for quite a while in cities like Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, and Berlin. Perhaps it is time we bring it to Chicago?


While reading The Tasting Table, I learned the importance of not using just any tonic water. Some are too lemony. Others are too bubbly. The perfect fit for this drink is Fever-Tree. I was lucky to not have to look too far as I found a pack in my local Mariano's Fresh Market.


 There are two ways to enjoy this refreshingly caffeinated drink:


Much like a Black & Tan (Guinness with a pale ale or lager), the espresso and tonic water will initially stay separated. Drinking it this way will give you an initial kick of strong espresso and will finish with the light bubbly tonic water.

espresso_tonicOtherwise you can mix the espresso and tonic together, creating a beverage more similar to a traditional iced coffee. This option is a little less intense as a separated espresso tonic. The flavors that come out of this drink are like nothing I would have ever expected. The flavors are complex - lemony and sweet, creamy and intense.

If I ask you to do one thing before the summer ends, it would be to make yourself an espresso tonic.

Espresso Tonic Makes 1 beverage


Fever Tree tonic water 2 ounces espresso ice


  1. Fill a glass with ice and pour in 6 ounces Fever Tree tonic water.
  2. Pull a 2-ounce shot of espresso and pour it on top of the tonic on the rocks. Be careful to not pour too quickly as the beverage may fizz up and overflow.
  3. Enjoy!