This week I’m drinking. . . . Jeffrey’s tonic water

I was toying with calling it “This Week I’ll be Mostly Drinking”. . . but it felt a bit 90s student party to steal jokes from the Fast Show. I’ve been rather neglecting this blog for some time; I’ve now got to the stage where if I have any interesting point to make, I’d rather save it and turn it into a proper article rather than put it up here. But I get to try hundreds of interesting drinks every month and it seems a shame not to write about some of them. 

Recently I’ve been trying to lose a little weight which involves walking as much as possible, skipping breakfast and cutting out drink (except professional drinks of course which don’t count) on week days. I was down to nearly 13 stone – and was thinking of launching my own diet book – but it does seem to be creeping up again.

But drinking a bit less anyway isn’t such a bad thing, especially since I was sent some Jeffrey’s (no relation) tonic syrup. This you mix with soda to make your own tonic water, I found 1 part syrup to 6 parts water worked best. With lots of ice, a slice of lime and some angostura bitter it is delicious and much much nicer than Schweppes. It comes in four flavours, though I’ve been mostly (sorry!) just drinking the Original Recipe. This is what they say about:

“Our first recipe was based around some long time spent in the Far East, where we developed a taste for the warm spices of Malaysia.

Cassia, clove and allspice all come together in what would be a warm, enfolding, almost Christmas, experience – were it not for the fact that it is brilliant with ice and soda!”

I agree, in fact rather than think of it as a tonic, I’ve come to think of it as a sort of non-alcoholic vermouth. It makes those long boozeless nights seem a bit more bearable.

I like it so much and it’s been so useful at keeping me on my soon to be patented Jeffreys/ Jeffrey’s diet that I feel bad for pointing out the problem, the price. A bottle costs £18.  Now prepare for some primary school maths. It contains 47.5cl which diluted equals around 285cl of tonic. Fever Tree tonic water from Waitrose costs £3.99 for 8 x 15cl cans

A 15cl serving of Fever Tree therefore costs about 50p*

Whilst a 15cl serving of Jeffrey’s costs just under £1

Furthermore £18 per 47.5cl works out at about £26.5 per bottle**. Think what you could buy with that! Jeffrey’s tonic is the price of a good blended whisky despite the fact you’re not paying duty on it.

Jeffrey’s is as far as I can aware made in tiny quantities, from only the best ingredients and it is delicious but unless they can produce something at half that price then I’m going to have to go back on the sauce.

Image result for jeffey's original tonic syrup

* 18 / (285 / 15) = 0.95 Always show your working!
** (70/47.5) x 18 = 26.53 




About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
This entry was posted in This Week I'm Drinking, Wine articles. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to This week I’m drinking. . . . Jeffrey’s tonic water

  1. Hi Henry,
    Great blog, as usual, but especially so this time, might I say. I hear you on the affordability, but I guess there are two main parts to that one.

    First, you do get what you pay for. It’s not an easy product to make (understatement), and it is all natural, so we’re really just asking whether people would like to pay for a delicious drink they can’t get anywhere else. Second, we are also essentially creating a new category and it’s difficult to know just what people might be prepared to part with. There are others of the same broad ilk – BTW do a simple cinchona bark based syrup which sells for the same price, but it is in all modesty, a quite different prospect. Jack Rudy sells for 13 quid, but is a mile away from the complex flavours you will find with Jeffrey’s. So we have benchmarked, and we do think that we are not far away from what might be considered ‘competition’, but the alternatives are just not remotely of the same deliciousness you have discovered.

    But there is certainly something in what you’ve raised. The more we sell, the more we are likely to be able to gain from the economies of scale, so there may be room for that in the future. In the meantime, we don’t want to lose our shirts!

    We do hope you can continue to enjoy your Jeffrey’s Tonic and your new diet :).

    Mike Robinson

  2. Jyrgenn says:

    I’d be tempted to try one or two of theirs, but even worse than the bottle price are the shipping costs
    — £20 *per bottle*, meaning £40 for two! Hell no.

    • Hi Jyrgenn – where are you? If we can get some to you for a reasonable price then we will. We understand that people want to try Jeffrey’s, so we’ll do whatever we can.
      Cheers, Mike.

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