The Search for Schweppes

After a day out in the sun, a good gin and tonic is pretty refreshing. Since the next excellent gin and tonic I have at a bar will be the first, I have to rely on my own handiwork. I’m fine with that, especially since I can do it at home for much cheaper. However, there is a catch — finding the right tonic water.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the only tonic water worth drinking is Schweppes, ideally from chilled 10 oz. glass bottles. The trouble is few supermarkets stock it in appropriate quantities in my preferred container if they stock it at all. Last week I searched in vain through 3 Giants, 3 Harris Teeters and 1 Magruder’s in Alexandria/Arlington without any success. Some stores were sold out of the six packs, while others clearly didn’t stock it. Giving up, I talked to a friend of mine at Ace Beverages in NW about my dilemma and he assured me that he could set aside a case. That solved the problem, though it required an out-of-the-way drive, though I was happy to give him the business.

Anyhow, I finally found some Schweppes six packs at the Safeway on N. Van Dorn Street too, so I should be in good shape until I go down the Shore later in the summer with six six-packs. Still, I can’t help but wonder why it is so hard to find Schweppes in the six-packs. These supermarkets are dropping the ball by not stocking more of it in favor of the decidedly inferior Canada Dry tonic water.

Coming Friday: A gin and tonic how-to

7 Comments so far

  1. RedShirt (unregistered) on June 6th, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

    Ask the local store manager at most Safeway and Giant. They’ll order it for you.


  2. fedward (unregistered) on June 6th, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    I’m not a gin-and-tonic drinker (quinine, bleh) but I prefer Schweppes ginger ale to other brands and have the same difficulty tracking it down reliably. Schweppes ginger ale has less sugar than other major brands, making it drier, ironically, than its corporate sister Canada Dry. Giant stocks it, but they don’t appear to stock enough of it.

    As for gin, the bartender at one of our haunts mocked me the other day for ordering a gin rickey. Apparently they’re trendy now (he said something about people requesting complicated ones with muddled lime). Was I alone in not knowing this?


  3. Tigidal (unregistered) on June 6th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    In a related question… Has anyone ever seen Canada Dry tonic water sold in 12 oz cans besides during airline beverage service? This is my tonic of choice and I always keep and eye out for them, but with no luck to this point.


  4. Max (unregistered) on June 6th, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

    Let me know if you find any “Squirt” soda anywhere. I have yet to find it on the east coast – it tastes great in mojitos.


  5. Ms. Tart (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 9:08 am

    I totally agree about the Schweppes – it’s definitely superior. As far as taste goes, I don’t think there’s much difference between the plastic and the 10 ounce glass bottles, but the glass bottles are definitely more satisfying to pour from. Even more satisfying are the tiny bottles of Schweppes they have in some European bars (they’re probably 6 or 8 ounces). I’ve never seen them here, though.


  6. ajw93 (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

    Mmmm, “Schweppervescence”. I’ve seen the family of Schweppes products at the South Glebe Giant many times. My mom’s picky about the sodawater and gingerale that she puts in whatever drink she likes to make — presbyterian? — and prefers it. So, whenever she comes to visit, I stock up. I’ll have to have a look at the Del Ray Giant (chances are bad, it’s pretty small).

    I just KNOW I’ve seen Squirt recently, thought it may have been in NY on a visit TO mom. Hmm. I’ll keep my eyes open for ya.


  7. ajw93 (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

    Ha! I KNEW I’d seen Squirt. It’s sold in 20 oz plastic bottles at the convenience store at my office building. I’m drinking one now!



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