Tonic Espresso + Bar

We all have a little story about gin, don’t we? We’ve all got that one friend who bursts into tears whenever she drinks gin at the pub (L, I’m looking at you), and we all remember a time when ordering a ‘G & T’ gave you a bit more of a classy edge on those filthy rum drinkers.

Now, I’m about to tell you something else to add to your collection of gin Stories:

There are more than three types of Gin in the world.

I know, I know. Y’all are shaking your heads and calling me crazy right now, huh? Beefeater, Tanqueray, and Bombay Sapphire: that’s it, yeah?

Well, my friends – what if I told you that the other night I went to a gin tasting, and tried not three, not four, but nine gins? And that wasn’t even the bar’s whole collection?

It’s true. We were at Tonic, a funky little bar/cafe/architecture firm (seriously) that’s tucked away in a side street on the Newstead/Valley border. It’s a cosy little space – which makes sense, since it used to be a garage – doing coffee by day and cocktails, wine, and beer by night.

Tonic bar

The beer list at Tonic is pretty decent (Monteith’s, Little Creatures, etc.), but it’s the cocktails that they clearly pride themselves on. Given Tonic’s intimate, small space, customers have a chance to be made a truly bespoke cocktail.

They also run a gin tasting, which we were invited to along with a few other bloggers. The lovely Matt took us through nine gins, offering anecdotes on the origin of gin in general as well as each different variety, plus tasting notes, and advice for drink pairings.

Tonic gin tasting

G’vine was a standout for me – if you can believe it, it smelled like bubblegum, and had a sweeter flavour than most gins. Other gins that we tried included Hendrick’s, Gin Mare, Aviation, and Bols Genever (D’s favourite – he found it had a pleasant smokiness).


I like my alcohol, and I’m fond of G & Ts, but even I found it pretty hard to sip on straight gin – for that reason, I wouldn’t say a gin tasting is for everyone. But if you’re keen to learn more about this often ridiculed spirit, it’s awesome – I had no idea that it had such a range of flavours!

If you don’t fancy gin, please go to Tonic anyway. It’s such a cool, funky, chilled space, and it’s so awesome to see more places like this popping up in quiet pockets of Brisbane – joining the ranks of cafes and bars like Tippler’s Tap and Shucked.

So go hunt down this little bar/cafe – just like gin, it’ll surprise you.





7 Hynes St

Fortitude Valley


Tonic Espresso and Bar on Urbanspoon




We were invited to try Tonic, and were not compensated for this review. All opinions are our own. We encourage responsible drinking 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Quinn says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Tonic – Very Cosmopolitan. Usually you would expect a place like this to fall down on something but they seem to have it a great selection. Wonder if the coffee is good too. Will be checking them out! Cheers, Quinn

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks Ally for sharing your experience with Tonic. Cannot wait to give it a try especially their beers when I hit the town 🙂

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