Schweppes is perhaps one of the best-known brands of soft drinks and tonics around today.
But their history goes back a long way, all the way to 1783 in Geneva, when Jacob Schweppe discovered how to make carbonated water.
He started selling Schweppe’s Soda Water, initially as a medicine to pharmacies, and thus began the history of soft drinks.
The company rose to great fame, receiving a royal warrant in 1836 and becoming the official drink of the Great Exhibition in 1851, where over a million people came to visit.
It wasn’t until 1870 that they released their Ginger Ale and Indian Tonic Water, which are the same as the ones they sell today. The inspiration for Indian Tonic Water came from mixing Gin with quinine to take away the bitter taste and was a common treatment for malaria amongst sailors.
Today the company is owned by Coca-Cola and has recently been given £6.6 million from their parent company in order to revitalise the brand.
They will be releasing new premium mixers, including Lavender & Orange Blossom and Ginger & Caradamom.
This is a move to target higher end drinkers, who buy pricier brands, in an attempt to become the premium brand of choice for G&T drinkers.
They already have a long history and a good reputation. This, alongside their biggest marketing campaign of the brand so far, stands them in good stead to do well, especially as Gin is seeing such a big rise in interest in recent years.
As well as new flavours, they are also going for a new look, stepping away from the sash design that they are so well known for, and moving into a more nostalgic yet modern take on their original bottles.
Again, this is a chance to capture premium drinkers by selling themselves as a brand with history and reputation.
As well as being so well known, they also create a pretty damn good Tonic Water.
It is smooth and easy going, with a mellow flavour that sits perfectly with any Gin. The notes of bitter quinine are not overpowering, meaning Schweppes is easily paired with almost all Gins.
It provides a soft base for more adventurous Gins to really show themselves.
There is a slightly herbal note to it, and some nice citrus tones that make it perfect to be garnished with a wedge of lemon or lime.
With so many new entrants in to the tonic market it will be interesting to see the outcome of the increased investment in Schweppes.