For those that have had their heads buried in sand for the last 15 years, Lidl is a giant German discounter with stores dotted around Ireland and the UK and beyond. They specialise in providing our favourite products such as big brands, in a much cheaper and affordable option at a small sacrifice in quality (in some cases) . Now, many of us gin lovers, know our top quality gins, and would consider it a sin to mix it with a poor quality tonic.
But what do some of us that don’t have the luxury of expendable income but love a tipple of the juniper stuff on a weekend at home. Lidl has an option for you. Freeway Indian Tonic. Freeway are exclusive to Lidl and manufacture only for them. Now I’d be in the bracket of people who wouldn’t want to mix my Gunpowder Gin or Glendalough with anything less than Fever-tree or Poachers Well Tonic, but I’m very open minded and curiosity makes give anything a chance, plus I’m a blogger and like to review things………anyway, here’s my two cents on Freeway.
I would say the fact that it’s not in a glass bottle would lose it a few points in my book, but at least they went for a can, which show they do actually care about keeping it carbonated all the way to your glass. With a plastic bottle, that most leading brands would go for, (depending on the length of storage), the carbonation would definitely be affected, thus affecting the taste of your gin. From a can the carbonation could be affected over time and also metal particles would leak into the tonic if stored for a long time and this would affect it’s taste. But with Lidls high volume of turnover I doubt things are sitting in a warehouse for long. Freeway, when designing the brand wanted to transport consumers to India when they see the label. This evident in their other products, but keeping in line with Lidls simplistic branding style, the Indian style borders and background still give that impression. Opting for yellow (a familiar colour for certain tonics) it definitly stands out. On the back of the can it gives a very detailed amount of information on nutrition’s, recycling options and serving suggestions.
One must remember that Freeway tonic won a Great Taste Award in 2015 so my expectations were very high. I had it in a bubble glass, without ice so as to not affect the flavour by dilution or poor ice quality. I always like to check out the bubbles, this usually tells me the amount of artificial flavourings in the tonic, but I was surprised to see very small bubbles, the ingredients do say artificial flavours and sweeteners so I found it very interesting. The first taste was really nice and I would put it up there with many tonics on the market, it was on the strong citrussy side with a sense of lemon and lime style flavour. The carbonation held quite well throughout the test, but after a while, once the carbonation disappeared the taste totally changed to a very bitter taste.
My Reccomended Serve
I had this with a Bombay Sapphire with a slice of lime and enjoyed it very much!
I like this tonic, yes it has all the artificial flavours and sweetners, and I probably will not buy it personally again, but if you don’t care about what’s in it, but still want the taste of a top brand, give it a go! It didn’t affect the quality of the Bombay I had, and there was no ill after affects. The serving of 250ml is very generous, I tended not to use it all, and when I was just having one it was very annoying because I hate to waste things, but more is better than not enough I guess. Perhaps a good rotation of using the leftovers for another one straight after, but thats just extra pressure! 🙂