Italian Sodas Sparkle With Real Sugar

Latest trend brings gourmet tonic water to American bars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 3:03 PM CDT
Tonic from a gun may be cost-effective, but it's not good.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – If your local bar pours tonic water from a gun—that plastic gizmo that dispenses sodas—it's time to seek a new watering hole, writes drink-maven Eric Felten in the Wall Street Journal. Good bartenders are hip to tonics' latest trend: Italian soda. Made with real cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, and retaining the traditional bitter taste of cinchona bark, Italian tonics are now sparkling in America.

Two major tonic brands, Schweppes and Canada Dry, have long dominated the US market. Both are owned by Dr. Pepper, and are too cloying for tonic connoisseurs. Italian companies now offer strong alternatives and sell a range of sodas that make for tasty cocktail ingredients. Felton calls them a "great untapped field": “Why should tonic, ginger and cola be the main flavors in fizzy mixers?”