At Top Note Tonics, we know the true source of flavors come from nature. Using only whole ingredients, we have created a remarkable flavor profile that offers a full balance of bitterness, sweetness, and sour that is enhanced with many ‘top note’ aromas. In fact, our unique aperitif bitter soda and tonic concentrates help create complex tasting drinks without adding multiple mixing steps. Our tonic and bitter soda concentrates offer a flavor profile unmatched by the mass tonic water manufacturers. Designed by a former craft brewer, these tonics are not for the faint of heart; real herbal character, lower in sugar yet balanced, and an innovative use of bitters make these tonics a favorite of craft spirits lovers of all types. 

Mix 1 part Top Note Tonic to 5 parts of your sparkling water or soda water for the perfect mixed drink, aperitivo soft beverage or mocktail. 
  • Concentrates have full flavor balance of bitterness, sweetness, and sour

  • Enhanced with many ‘top notes’ of exotic spices, citrus, and woody aromas from the botanical herbs and spices we use

  • Profiles make complex drinks without adding multiple mixing steps

  • Bitter flavor profile provided primarily by Gentian root

The Botanicals:

Bitter Sources:


Found primarily in the French Alps, the Gentian Root from the Gentiana lutea plant has bitter agents similar to those found in hops. Gentian provides an earthy bitter flavor that provides a backbone of flavor. The naturally occurring polyphenolic compound provides the water extract a slightly yellow color. We use Gentian as the only bittering agent in our Tonic, making it palate cleansing and very pleasing as an aperitif.

Cinchona bark, also known as Peruvian bark, provides a natural source of quinine. Quinine is best known for providing the flavor associated with “tonic water”. Cinchona is a sharp bitter that provides character to primarily our Bitter Lemon, and is used in the background in the bitter orange.

Top Note Tonics are created to provide complex flavor profiles. Citrus peels are one of the botanical ingredients used. Citrus oil makes an exceptionally complex tonic with a slightly sharp taste.

Lime Extract:
The lime peel oil provides a sour but clean flavor. The lime extract enhances peppery and spice flavors in our Gentian Tonic.

Lemon Peel and Juice:
Lemon peel provides a clean taste profile and a slight sharpness to our tonics. The zing of lemon peel provides a fresh aroma to our Bitter Lemon Tonic. Lemon juice is also used in the Bitter Lemon Tonic to make a refreshing alternative to lemonade.

Orange Peel:
The orange peel provides a bitter but complex sour flavor. When combined with other botanical flavors it increases the depth of aromas.


The aromas provided by spices are secondary only to those provided by citrus. Spices provide a warm and inviting aroma to our tonics. The use of spices requires special care as too much can overpower the senses and dominate the flavor profile.

Clove is a powerful spice that is used sparingly. Its use provides an excellent complement to fruit flavors and it pairs well with citrus peel.

Allspice is a dried unripe fruit that originates in warm climates. It was originally called allspice because its profile is similar to combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This flavorful component is used in many international foods and liqueurs. This complex spice is used to increase the flavor depth of our tonics.

Ginger is a spice used in many food and drinks around the world. It produces an intensely hot aroma that pairs well with citrus botanicals. Like other spices, it is used carefully to add layers to the complex flavor without overtaking it.

Grassy/Earthy/Mint Compounds:

Grassy and earthy compounds provide a balance to the spices. These compounds add another level to the depth of flavor. They provide an earthy complexity that increases the overall flavor profile.

Lemongrass is a compound that has a floral and grassy aroma. Lemongrass provides a balanced aroma and flavor that is light and complex at the same time.

Juniper is a key ingredient used to flavor gin. Juniper provides a sharp clear flavor and provides a dry earthy component.

Wintergreen has a strong aromatic with a sweet, woody sensation. When used sparingly it provides a minty smell and flavor that adds considerable flavor depth.


Top Note Tonics uses several types of cane sugar for our tonic concentrates. Several variants of cane sugars are selected to provide a unique flavor profile while others are selected for their color qualities. Pure Cane Sugar is our primary sweetener and we use no artificial or highly concentrated sweeteners. To add complexity and color, we use molasses and turbinado sugar sparingly.

Cane Sugar:
Natural cane sugar is produced from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. The pure sweetness provided by refined sugar is unrivaled.

Molasses, which is the principal ingredient in the distillation of rum, is a by-product of the refining of sugar cane. It is regularly used in brewing beer and baking and cooking. Molasses is thick syrup that varies in consistency and taste. We use molasses to enhance the complex flavor profile of our tonic concentrates.

Turbinado Sugar:
Turbinado sugar is a raw form of cane sugar that is more flavorful than refined sugar. Frequently used for baking, Turbinado sugar is one of the sweeteners that we use to add a deeper color, but also some caramel sweetness to our tonic concentrates.

Acids are the quintessential ingredient to provide a level of sour and balance to sweet beverages. Acid must be carefully added to provide the right balance to a beverage without creating an undesirable pucker and drying of the palate. We use citric acid and cream of tartar to create a softer more desirable acidity to our tonics.