Drinks News

New Zealand Tonics Fly In Global Ranking

Kiwi premium tonic brand East Imperial has just been given the major thumbs-up by the Drinks International survey of the world’s best bars (tell us something we Kiwis didn’t know)

Above photo: Instagram/@eastimperial 

Homegrown tonic brand East Imperial has just been announced as the 2nd Top Trending Tonic brand globally in the annual Drinks International survey, which asks the owners, head bartenders, and bar managers of over 100 of the top bars in the world for their best-selling products, as well as the input of 476 global bar experts.

The chosen bars all finished in the top 250 places of the World’s 50 Best Bars, so that’s one bunch of very influential mixologists, along with the taste preferences of their customers of course.

Here at Toast we love a Kiwi success story, and since it launched in Auckland in 2012 the popularity of East Imperial has gradually spread to all corners of the globe. It’s great to hear that drinkers overseas have fallen as much in love with East Imperial as us Kiwis have. This year in the survey, the brand also jumped two places and is now ranked the 3rd Best Selling Tonic Brand globally. Not bad for an independent brand made with a large dose of Kiwi ingenuity.

Premiumisation is big news on the global drinks scene – as more of us look for artisan products made with high quality ingredients, interesting flavors, and less sugar and no artificial flavor. East Imperial ticks all those boxes. Here’s our pick of their top tonics, plus some tasty pairing and drinks recommendations for G&T heaven…


East Imperial tonics are based on a 1903 recipe, and East Imperial is the only brand that sources all its key ingredients from Asia – just like the original tonics created in India in the 1800s. Made with artesian New Zealand spring water and all-natural ingredients, they’re designed to complement not mask the flavours of gin.


  • What: Authentic 1800s-style tonic water with minimal citric acid and half the sugar content of other mainstream tonics, no wonder it's referred to as the “champagne of tonic waters”.
  • Why it rocks: Because of the lower sugar and citric acid it lets the delicious flavours of your gin shine, and leaves you to add natural lemon or lime to your own personal preference.
  • Pair with: Bold, herbaceous gins
  • Drink recommendation: (pictured below) To an ice-filled glass add 45ml Haymans London Dry Gin, East Imperial Old World Tonic Water and a slice of lemon for a classic London Dry style G&T.


  • What: A flavoursome tonic water with higher sugar and citric acid content than the Old World Tonic, plus a hefty dose of quinine and some Thai lemongrass and mango lime that makes for more flavourful G&Ts.
  • Why it rocks: Takes you on a taste trip to the Pegu Club in Rangoon Burma in the early 1900s and their flavoursome Long Pink Gins made with tonic, gin and a few dashes of bitters.
  • Pair with: Citrus gins and London dry style gins


  • What: A tonic water made with the aromatic, sweet zesty flavor of Asian yuzu citrus, this is great if you’re looking to add an exotic dose of flavor to your G&T.
  • Why it rocks: Us Toasties love this tonic water for its unique flavor, which pushes your drink in a modern, Asia-Pacific fusion direction. 
  • Pair with: Traditional London dry style gins, and any spirit with citrus flavours
  • Drink recommendation: (pictured below) To an ice-filled glass add 45ml Rogue Society Gin, East Imperial Yuzu Tonic Water and a slice of fresh orange for a crisp citrus style G&T.


  • What: This tonic water blends East Asian pomelo with ruby red grapefruit flavours to create a tonic that’s equal parts sharp and sweet – just like the perfect dinner date.
  • Why it rocks: Take another flavor trip via this citric tonic water to legendary 1930s London hotels The Savoy and The Dorchester, where bartender Harry Craddock created iconic gin cocktails with sharp citrus fruit accents. 
  • Pair with: Traditional London dry style gins, and any spirit with citrus flavours​

Click and Collect

Just one click. That’s all it takes to grab your weekend cocktail essentials from your local Liquorland thanks to Click and Collect.

Simply choose your desired tipples, pay at the quick ’n’ easy online checkout and voilà – your purchases will be ready and waiting for you at your Liquorland store of choice.