Love is in the air this month

Mixer brand is launched by veteran Highland operator

Love Tonic was launched last month by Highland operator Don Lawson of Johnny Foxes

A NEW, quinine-free mixer designed to enhance the flavour of spirits has been launched by a veteran Highland publican.

Love Tonic is the brainchild of Inverness operator Don Lawson, owner of Johnnie Foxes and The Den, and business partner Gary Morren and was launched at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show in Glasgow last month.

Described as a “fresh-tasting, quinine-free sparkling mixer”, the drink is designed to be mixed with spirits or served by itself as a soft drink.

The launch follows several months of testing when Love Tonic was trialed in bars and restaurants in the Highlands and feedback gathered from both staff and consumers.

Lawson told SLTN he decided to develop a tonic after initially being approached to help launch a gin.

Seeing the number of brands already on the market, he decided against it and chose instead to look at creating a mixer.

The recipe for Love Tonic was developed over a number of months by working with scientists at Heriot-Watt University.

Not only does it go well with gin, it goes well with whisky and rum. It doesn’t mask the spirit.

“Whether you drink it with your favourite spirit or drink it as a long drink with ice, people love it,” said Lawson.

“The fact that it is quinine-free is, we believe, another advantage.

“Quinine puts a lot of people off tonic and we know from a lot of craft gin distillers that some tonics dull the flavours of the unique botanicals.

“Love Tonic does the opposite.”

A listing with wholesaler Inverarity Morton was secured at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show.

And Lawson said he hopes to convince operators in the central belt to embrace the new product.

“I know a few of the guys in Glasgow and Edinburgh and hopefully they’ll support me because I would support them,” he said.

“I’ll be looking for support from fellow publicans.”