The Fine Line Between Tonic Water And Soda Water

Tonic water has become a trendy drink in recent times. Vodka tonic, gin and tonic and even plain tonic water are consumed in homes, as well as bars and clubs. Tonic water is different from other carbonated drinks, and in this article, we are examining the thin line between tonic water and soda water.

What Is Tonic Water?

Tonic water is a carbonated drink, containing some mineral which gives it a distinct taste. The unique ingredient in tonic water is quinine; which gives the drink its bitter taste. It is an alkaloid gotten from the bark of a native Peruvian tree. To reduce the bitterness caused by quinine, sweeteners from nectar or sugar are added to the tonic. Carbonation also offsets the bitter taste. Tonic is a popular ingredient for cocktails as well as being a top-notch beverage when combined with gin.

What Is Soda Water?

Soda water is also a carbonated drink, infused with salt and minerals. Soda water usually contains dissolved carbon dioxide gas. It does not contain added sugars or preservatives. Soda water is a common ingredient for a cocktail, particularly used along with vodka or gin.


Similarities Between Tonic Water And Soda Water

• Carbonated Water: Both share the same base, which is highly carbonated water. This is the most important component of both drinks. This similarity is highlighted in the history of Coca-Cola, which was first created as a tonic with alcohol and coca leaves added.

Mineral And Compounds: Both drinks contain different minerals and compounds. It is what gives them their distinct tastes.

Mixers: Both drinks act as mixers and are added to cocktails, gin, as well as vodka. Although their uses vary, they are both standard mixers.

 • They can both be taken as plain drinks. Although tonic waters typically have a bitter taste, some of them, like Lahhentagge tonics, can still be consumed as plain drinks.

Differences Between Tonic Water And Soda Water

Quinine: Tonic water and soda water are similar, as they have the same base of carbonated water. The ingredients they contain, however, make them taste different. Quinine, the prominent ingredient in tonic water makes it bitter, compared to soda water.

Calories: Tonic water contains sugar as well as other sweeteners, and this makes it high in calories. Soda water does not contain preservatives or added sugars, making it calorie-free.

Ghrelin: Tonic water has calories, while soda water increases ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone, and with the more soda water you consume the higher your hunger levels. This, when not watched, can lead to weight problems.

In conclusion, the difference is in quinine -- it is more healthy to lean towards tonic water, especially if you check sugar-level of your tonic.

Take it plain or mix it with gin for the best taste. 

53751055_1215051035313857_2428994139795226624_o.jpg -- meie oma toonikupood!


Suvi on tagasi! Ja kui te vajate suvekuuma lahjendamiseks midagi erlist, siis meie toonikutel on nüüd oma pood! Aadressi meeles pidamine on imelihtne, selleks on lihtsalt: toonik,

Meie toonikud on Tallinnas ja Saaremaal müügil päris paljudes kohtades, ja ka mujalt Eestis on neid leida RIMI ja Selveri riiulitest, aga kõige lihtsam on nüüd toonikud kasti-kaupa oma kodusesse paki-automaati tellida.

Kuusk ja Kardemon toonik: Valmis ja uuritud!


Projekt: Lahhentagge tooniku säilivus ja ohutus.

Lühikirjeldus: Läbi viidi katsetööd valitud säilitustehnoloogiaga ning säilivuskatsed 12 kuu vältel, sh. sensoorne analüüs, mikrobioloogiline analüüs ja värvusanalüüs.

Eesmärk: Töötada välja kõrgekvaliteediline Lahjentagge tooniku retsept, mis põhineb saaremaisel toorainel, uurida toote säilivust ja jõuda võimalikult pika säilivusajani toatemperatuuril ilma maitseomaduste halvenemiseta.

Tulemus: Toode maitseomadused 12 kuu jooksul ei halvenenud.

Toetus: Euroopa Regionaalarengu fondi raames 3,988 euro ulatuses.

Kuressaare Christmas Tree Adventures in World Media

One tree, one Christmas - dozens of stories in more than half a dozen languages.

Among the first, Italian blogs and wrote about how the Kuressaare Christmas tree was about to become a tonic water.

In Britain, included our story in the wider context of the Christmas tree problem. The story was also run on the Brazilian Revista-fi page. In Romania, we can be found on

In French the story is here on Pour Nourrir Demain, while the tonic made its way onto the popular French TV show La Quotidienne.


In Russia, the adventures of our Christmas tree were covered in,,,,,,,,,,,, Toluna, Murmsil on,,,, and  

On top of the Russian coverage, the Christmas tree also started to pop out in texts like this - 爱沙尼亚蒸馏商Lahhentagge从圣诞树中提取汤力水. Here are a few links for those of you who might speak Chinese better than we do:,,,,, and

Among our Nordic neighbours, the story of our tonic made it into Glorian Ruoka ja Viini magazine.


Finally, the Christmas tree story made it to some 50+ smaller media outlets across the United States. Among those were affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, and even Fox.

Clearly, recycling raw materials is something people care and feel deeply about and the food industries can do a lot in this field.

The Vitamin Tree of Vikings

Old Tjikko, whose name could well belong to an ancient Viking Warrior, is a small tree in Western Sweden. At a mere 4 metres, it’s tiny compared to most trees in the Nordic forests.

However, Old Tjikko hides a big story in its small body. It was born soon after the ice melted in Scandinavia, at the end of last Ice Age. It’s the oldest spruce tree, with roots that are almost 10,000 years old. And Tjikko is not a lone warrior from the prehistoric age – in these same mountains, there are 20 trees over 8,000 years old.

No wonder that in Nordic cultures the spruce is a symbol of life and strength. Needles of spruce have been used by shamans to make the magic potions throughout the centuries.

The spruce had a key role in celebrating the winter solstice, long before the first ever decorated spruce tree was put up to celebrate Christmas in 1441. And yes, of course, that happened in Estonia. 

Looking out at the world from this island and village of famous captains, it’s worth mentioning that Captain Cook, who founded Australia, was the first captain to save all of his crew from scurvy by using alcoholic sugar-based spruce beer.

The tips from the needles are quite commonly used in Nordic kitchens to make spruce syrup, and even survival tips suggest that spruce needles can be directly ingested or boiled into a tea to replace large amounts of vitamin C.


The needles of spruce absorb vast amounts of sunshine and, importantly for the Nordic region, not only sunshine but light in general, making the tree stand out in many ways.

It carries dozens of times more Vitamin C than citrus fruits, 40-100 times more chlorophyll than any other plant, and it is more vitamin- and mineral-rich than noni fruits, which have been tagged as the Elixir of Life.

Yet Vitamin C is just one key ingredient in spruce needles: fresh needles carry also Vitamins E and K, carotene, manganese, copper, zink, cobalt.

Throughout history, the spruce has been used to treat a vast array of health problems related to heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, stomach, bladder, breathing, eyes and ears. It is antibacterial, and improves metabolism and blood circulation.

Chlorophyll is important for plants, but what about for humans? One may ask.

It has been found to be an important factor offering protection against cancer. Chlorophyll also helps your body cleanse elimination systems, such as the bowel, liver and blood, and improving the transport of oxygen throughout your body, among other things.

Working on Sake Gin launch

We have bottled the first batch of Sake Gin in Saaremaa. The bottles will reach stores by the end of the year.

The new Sake Gin uses local rice-like juniper berries, a new juniper species that is yet to be officially named. The locals in Saaremaa have called the species Rice Juniper for centuries, but it is not known outside the island. It has been a well-kept secret of the island’s inland areas.

Here is an old photograph from the local museum.

Historic picture of Rise Junpier fields in Saaremaa

Historic picture of Rise Junpier fields in Saaremaa

The official naming of the juniper species is due to happen in 2023, at the next International Botanical Congress. While classical juniper trees crave dry soil, the so-called rice juniper is extremely sensitive to water shortages. To ensure sufficient water, most rice juniper fields need mechanical watering to maintain flooded conditions in the field during the few weeks of Estonian summer.

“The island gets a lot of low-intensity sunlight throughout the year, and with the increasingly rainy weather – the region’s weather could be easily compared to the legendary English weather – it is a perfect habitat for the so-called rice juniper,” said professor Peter O'Kenowefa from Rice J University.

Estonian gin Lahhentagge on shop shelf in riga

Estonian gin Lahhentagge on shop shelf in riga

“We are trying to jump-start the old distilling industry on the island. Finding these juniper fields in some little-visited areas in the centre of the island was like finding that X mark on old treasure maps,” said Maarit Pöör, co-founder of Lahhentagge. “We are getting sake’s rice effect without growing rice separately – with rice juniper it’s like a 2-in-1.”

The health effects of rice juniper are currently being investigated in joint studies by Rice J University and the University of Sigulda in Latvia. The latter’s recent study on gin’s effects on metabolism, suggesting that gin could help your body burn calories faster, put the little-known university on the world map.

Whether sake gin has similar, or even larger positive impacts on your health, than just gin requires further study.

Juniper floods in Saaremaa

Sign up for first bottles of sake gin!

Please note: the story was published on april fool's day. we have had floods in saaremaa, but no rice juniper grows on the island. (as far as we know).

sake gin is a good idea, but we have to find some other way to make it.

Ösel Gin Fest

On July 7, we will hold the first ever gin festival in Estonia, in Saaremaa. Not a Lahhentagge gin festival, but a more general gin festival – we are involved in organising it, but we invite all gin makers to attend.

“The first? Really?” you may ask. Yes, some bars have organised gin tastings in Estonia and have called them festivals, but we will be taking part in organising the first-ever event with actual gin producers attending and bringing their own products with them.

We have found the perfect location for the event – it will take place on the main street of Kuressaare, in the grounds of the hotel Arensburg. During July 7, some 5,000 to 10,000 tourists will pass the venue. We hope that many of them will also step in for a gin or two.

Why in Kuressaare, Saaremaa? It is a 4-hour drive from Tallinn, or a 30-minute flight.

The answer is obvious – and it is partly the same as why we are building Lahhentagge. The massive island is covered with juniper trees.

Junper berries for true Estonian gin

It is the natural resource of the island and use of them has been very limited so far. Yes, we pick the berries and a few other people seem to be picking them too, but that is pretty much it.

Arensburg is a good venue. It has the capability of hosting big concerts on its grounds and has a large parking area just next to it. We will take over the summer stage of its terrace to hold masterclasses.

We are not planning the largest summer festival in Estonia – rather, a meetup for Friends of Gin. There will be a number of Estonian gin producers attending, but the real treat will be gins that are not on sale in Estonia. Hopefully, there will also be some new products that producers will bring out for the first time.

Some friends have asked us if it is silly to invite all our competitors to attend. Surely, they are rivals in some situations? However, artisan producers control just a fraction of the gin market in the region. Raising awareness together of these unique spirits will enable us to multiply the market, not battle over selling a bottle or two of gin.