What is a Espresso Tonic?

An Espresso Tonic is a type of coffee drink that combines a shot of espresso with tonic water. This drink combines the bitter and rich flavors of the espresso with the light and refreshing taste of tonic water to create a unique and balanced drink.

The tonic water provides a subtle effervescence, while the espresso adds a strong, bold flavor. Some variations of the Espresso Tonic may also include a squeeze of lemon or a splash of sweetener to enhance the flavor.

This combination may catch you off guard, but it is said that the electric and citrus flavor of the tonic, mixed with the rich coffee is something rather addicting.

If you are unfamiliar with this drink and want to find out more, then read on for all you need to know about this stylish combination.

Who Invented the Espresso Tonic?

The exact origin of this drink isn’t completely known, unfortunately it’s not a drink named after a celebrity or a famous place, so its arrival on the coffee scene was a little more low-key. It’s likely that the Espresso Tonic was created by a barista or coffee aficionado looking to mix the bold flavors of espresso with the crisp and refreshing taste of tonic water

However, it has been available in cafes in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden and Norway since around 2007, and while it has only been well known in the U.S for roughly the last five years, parts of Europe have been enjoying it for much longer.

Types of Coffee and Tonic to Use

Of course, when you are trying a new drink you want to taste it as it should be, therefore, quality ingredients are in order if you are going to be able to appreciate the full flavors of this drink.

Firstly, with the coffee, a fresh roasted single origin coffee from a high quality specialty roaster is better then a blended option. I usually like an African coffee such as a light to medium roasted Kenyan or Ethiopian as it gives a a smoother and more gentle taste,

Next, the tonic needs to be of quality, again, you want those all important flavors to mix well; so, choose a good brand, especially one that you enjoy drinking alone. It is better to avoid the cheaper brands such as Schweppes, and instead opt for something such as Fever-Tree or Q Indian Tonic Water.

How to Make An Espresso Tonic

This drink couldn’t get much simpler – this is a three ingredient drink. Of course, if you want to experiment with the flavors a little, you can always add a slice of lemon, or grapefruit, or even a spice such as nutmeg – it is entirely up to you.


  • Large Ice Cubes
  • Double Shot of Single Origin Espresso
  • High Quality Tonic Water
  • Optional: lemon wedge and sweetener (such as simple syrup)

Espresso Tonic Step By Step Guide

Now that you learned everything you need to, it’s time for you to put one together yourself and see what you think.

Step 1. Brew a shot of espresso using an espresso machine or a stovetop espresso maker.

Step 2 Grab a glass, preferably a long glass and add your ice to the top

Step 3. Pour in the tonic water about three quarters of the way up the glass – the tonic should be chilled.

Step 4. Finally, slowly and gently pour over the shot of your favorite espresso – the slow part is very important as you don’t want the drinks to mix just yet.

Step 5. As an optional extra, here is where you can add your slice of lemon or other garnish, but, again, this is completely based on preference.

Final Thoughts

The simplicity of this drink means that it is not only incredibly quick and easy to make, but it also means there are a ton of options for you to experiment with what flavor you like to add in the final touches.

So, the next time you feel like making a coffee, try an espresso tonic, and find out for yourself why this drink is becoming a coffee lover’s new best friend.