This month our member’s Craft Gin Club March Gin of the Month box included Lixir, a truly delicious yet uniquely bold new tonic water that bursts with distinctive flavour combinations that will excite and delight the taste buds – it’s the perfect way to enjoy a G&T this month! We chatted to Matt and Jordon, the former bartenders behind this delectable addition to our member’s tonic collection, to find out more about what brought them to their incredible creation and why they think Lixir will change the way we see gin.
Here is what they had to say…
Can you tell me when and how you decided to create your own tonics?
Matt: We started out working for leading spirits companies, but as our love for making drinks grew, we moved behind the bar. There was loads of innovation happening in spirits, especially with flavoured gins. It was beginning to have a domino effect on mixers, but there was still very little variety in flavoured tonics. That led to a real-life lightbulb moment in 2016, when we realised with a range of flavoured tonics, you could experiment and have various styles of drink using just one bottle of gin or vodka – which was a lot more affordable!
What about your background as bartenders makes you uniquely placed to craft premium tonics?
Jordan: You get the opportunity to observe and experiment with different flavour combinations in serves or cocktails, try new spirits and learn about their history, but importantly you witness first hand new consumer trends, and let that influence your own brand.
You started Lixir in your kitchen. Can you tell me about the process of developing the tonics?
Matt: We’d never done anything like this before, so the first challenge was where to start. We had a Google found a ‘how-to’ guide on making homemade tonic water syrups. We then made various syrup flavours using different fruits, spices and botanicals. Creating authentic flavours was the biggest challenge; some botanicals would infuse into the syrup better than others. Next, we found willing volunteers – our mates! Some of the flavours went down amazingly and make up our current range. Others, the less said the better…After what seemed like a million attempts and some debate, we settled on the stand-out flavours we wanted to use.
Can you tell me about your Refreshingly Light tonic?
Jordan: Our Refreshingly Light is the most underrated in the Lixir range! We use a blend of orange, lemon and lime to offer a lovely light and clean flavour, with no after-taste of an artificial sweetener. We put a touch less quinine in our light tonic, too, compared to other brands, to let the gin’s botanicals come to life.
The rhubarb and ginger is such a great flavour combination – how did you come up with it, and what’s your favourite way to drink it?
Matt: It’s a flavour combination that’s fast becoming a household favourite, so we had to turn it in to a tonic, and at present we’re the only mixer brand to do it! For those that find ginger beer too overpowering, this is a perfect substitute. You’ll discover a warming spice to finish, rather than something too fiery. The rhubarb adds another dimension. As with all our flavours we’re proud and confident to say that if it’s on the label, you’ll taste that it’s there.
People are often nervous to pair distinctively-flavoured tonics with spirits in case it doesn’t work, but this is a prime example of how a flavoured mixer can really lift a base spirit.