Merchant’s Heart is a classic, premium tonic from Suntory.
Type: Tonic Water
Nutritional info (100ml):
Sugar (g): 8.8
Merchant’s Heart was established in 2015, but in terms of availability it’s sadly still not terribly common in the UK. Marketed as a ‘spirit enhancer’ rather than a ‘mixer’, it’s part of a larger range that includes flavoured tonics and drinks.
The name comes from the ethos of Shinjiro Torii, who founded Suntory in 1899 and grew the company but, as the quote goes: “We may have grown from shop to company, but we must always be a tradesman; we must never forget our merchant’s heart.”
Merchant’s Heart Tonic Water is available in 200ml bottles and 150ml cans.
When first pouring, the liquid fizzes then quickly dies down. There aren’t a great many bubbles sticking to the edge and base of the glass, but there are a tremendous number of small bubbles constantly rising to the surface.
The aroma is pleasant and bittersweet, with a strong quinine element. It’s very fresh and clean smelling with a very faint but robust and earthy citrus. It’s definitely mouthwatering.
To taste, there is a beautifully light tingle from the fizz that’s just the right amount, then the flavour hits and it’s absolutely divine. Bittersweet, mildly tangy, and positively bursting, this is a full-bodied flavour. The quinine is delightful, not bitter or sharp, and there’s an underlying warmth too.
With gin (3:1 Beefeater with dried lemon peel), there’s a symphony of flavours that make the drink really come alive. There’s no dryness, no sharp bitter notes, just a perfect balance and flavour for days. For me, everything in the gin is complimented, leaving me with a perfect G&T.
Put simply, this is one of the best tonics I’ve ever had. The flavour on its own is remarkable, in my opinion, and earns its premium title, but with the gin (which is more than likely how anyone is going to drink it) it’s exceptional. The marketing team have got this right, it’s a spirit enhancer, beyond all doubt. Absolutely amazing.
Merchant’s Heart Tonic Water is available in some shops and online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.