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Refreshingly Bold: Espresso Tonic Recipe



Sasha Pavlovich

 ·  21 March 2023

Looking for a fun twist on your average coffee drink? 

Espresso Tonic might hit the mark for you.

With espresso’s bold and rich flavor paired with tonic water’s delicate bitterness and citrusy taste, this could be what you’re looking for.

And the best part? It’s very easy to make! 

With only two ingredients, you’ll be able to make a delicious coffee tonic drink in no time.

Whether you’re a coffee lover looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy your drink or just someone who’s curious about the latest coffee trends, Espresso Tonic is sure to satisfy your cravings.

So, are you ready to switch things up and try making an Espresso Tonic today?

Let’s get right into it.

What is Espresso Tonic?

Quick definition: Espresso Tonic is made with tonic water, ice, and chilled espresso.

It has a delightful balance of sweetness and bitterness that can be tailored to your taste preference. 

Usually served in a glass with ice, the espresso shot is carefully poured over the tonic water, creating a layered drink that gradually blends together as you sip. 

A standard serving typically includes 6-8 ounces of tonic water and 2 ounces of espresso, but you can get creative and experiment with different flavored syrup or fruit juice. And yes, you can even throw in a garnish.

How Does It Taste?

It’s like heaven in a glass. 

Yup, because it’s a perfectly balanced drink where the coffee flavor blends nicely with the tonic water, creating a unique and delightful taste experience.

Once you take the first sip, you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t tried it before! 

Indeed, there’s something truly pleasant about this drink that’s why it’s always trending. 

And because espresso tonics are so delicious, it’s no wonder they’re becoming more and more popular!

History of Espresso Tonic?

Believe it or not, the origin of espresso tonic is very humble. 

It all started at Koppi Roasters Cafe in Helsingborg, Sweden. The idea came from Anne Lunell, one of the cafe’s founders, after a staff party where they had leftover tonic, syrup, and espresso.

When the cafe officially opened, they added a drink called Kaffe & Tonic to the menu.

And guess what? It quickly became a crowd favorite! 

In fact, for the next decade, Kaffe & Tonic was the most sought-after cold beverage on the menu.

Espresso Tonic Ingredients

As mentioned earlier, this coffee drink has only two (2) main ingredients: espresso and tonic water. But in this section, we’ll discuss everything we can add to make the most out of your Espresso Tonic today.

Main Ingredients

  • Espresso. Pull your shot of espresso. Make sure to let it cool down a bit before using it. A cold brew is also an option if you prefer it.
  • Tonic Water. Feel free to use your favorite brand. Some of the popular ones you can try are Fever Tree’s Indian Tonic, Q Spectacular Tonic Water, and Schweppes Tonic Water.
  • Ice. Before adding the tonic water or espresso, fill the glass with filtered ice.

Optional Ingredients

  • Simple Syrup. You may keep it simple by using plain simple syrup. Or you can get creative by using flavored simple syrups such as blueberry simple syrup, ginger syrup, and spiced orange syrup.
  • Sliced Lime or Orange Bitters. For an extra burst of flavor, try adding orange bitters or lime wedges to your espresso tonic. Your taste buds will thank you.
  • Fresh Fruit. Yes, you may add fresh fruit of your choice, too! Among the best berries to use are raspberries, pomegranates, and blueberries.
  • Alcohol. Adding a shot of whiskey or vodka will make your Espresso Tonic a refreshing cocktail drink. Another must-try.

How To Make An Espresso Tonic

  1. Pull your espresso shots. To do this, you will need an espresso machine or moka pot along with your espresso beans. If you don’t have it, you can use cold-brew concentrate instead. 
  2. Chill your espresso. Add 3-4 ice cubes to your espresso to slightly chill it. By doing so, the ice in the drink won’t melt too quickly and dilute the flavors. 
  3. Fill your glass with ice cubes. You can use regular filtered ice or you can try making coffee ice cubes for extra coffee flavor.
  4. Pour 8 ounces of tonic water into the glass.
  5. Add the chilled espresso or cold brew concentrate on top of your tonic water. To produce a layered impression, some people choose to pour the espresso over the back of a spoon.
  6. Gently stir the beverage. But please avoid aggressive stirring as this may cause the signature drink to become fizzy.
  7. You may use this step to add optional items such as syrups, alcohol, cherry bitters, lime juice, and more. Just like most coffee drinks, this recipe has endless variations.

And that’s it! Enjoy your homemade espresso tonic or cold brew tonic!

Recipe Card

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French Vanilla Cappuccino Questions

  1. How do tonic and club soda differ from each other?

    They are both carbonated water. Their only difference is that tonic contains added quinine and sugar. Tonic water derives its bitter taste from quinine, which is then balanced by added sugar.

  2. How should I serve my Espresso Tonic?

    The Espresso Tonic beverage is typically served in a highball glass over ice. You can either gently stir the drink to mix the espresso and tonic or savor it in layers as the coffee gradually falls at the bottom of the glass.

  3. How can you make Espresso Tonic without foam?

    Pouring the tonic water into the glass with ice prior to slowly adding the espresso is the key to making an espresso tonic without foam.

author sasha
Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha Pavlovich and welcome to my blog about coffee! As an experienced barista, I have a deep passion for coffee. I love to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with everyone, and I never get tired of talking about it. Whether you're a novice or a connoisseur, I'm sure you'll find something on my site that will make you appreciate the wonderful world of coffee even more.