King Neptune’s Tonic

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Cocktail History

The King Neptune’s Tonic is a modern cocktail that was created by Karen Fu in New York City, New York. The recipe features an eclectic mix of flavors that you don’t usually see in a tonic drink, including nutty Oloroso sherry and aged rum as the base, coffee liqueur, and quinine from the tonic water as an accenting bitter note rather than in a prominent role.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Oloroso Sherry: This is a type of fortified wine made in Spain with palomino grapes. We used Emilio Lustau Dry Oloroso Don Nuño Sherry because it has a rich and nutty flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry.

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugarcane juice, spices, and alcohol that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. We used J. Wray & Nephew Gold Jamaican Rum because it’s high quality yet still affordable, full flavored while still being lighter than other rums, and lends exotic spice flavors to the finish of the drink. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum.

Coffee Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with coffee, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Galliano Ristretto Espresso Liqueur because it has a strong coffee flavor with notes of dark chocolate. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Coffee Original Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the coffee liqueur.

Tonic Water: This is a carbonated water that has been infused with quinine. We used Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic Water.

Lemon Twist: This is the peel of a lemon that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The King Neptune’s Tonic features aromas of bitter lemon and quinine and has an intriguing yet complex taste that contains rum notes initially, follows with sherry backed by a slight herbal coffee note and an effervescent bitterness, and ends with a lingering savory sherry flavor accented with a touch of coffee.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both thought the King Neptune’s Tonic was fascinating, clever, and altogether unique as each sip highlighted a different ingredient. Kendall found it a bit too bitter for her palate due to the addition of tonic but enjoyed trying a tonic drink with such a unique base. Alex, on the other hand, loved that every taste offered a piece of a unique puzzle.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Going into this tasting, I had no idea what to expect since the ensemble of flavors was so different, but I was very impressed with how it worked together. The flavors are all so unique, and they each come through individually with every sip bringing something different to the palate. The slight bitterness from the tonic complements the herbal coffee notes very well too, while the sherry and rum combine to create a funky and long-lingering base flavor.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This has to be one of the most unique tonic cocktails you’ll ever taste. It uses a fascinating blend of ingredients that together make a tapestry of flavors, a different one of which shines in every sip. I swear, every time I took a drink of this one I tasted a new ingredient. First came sherry and tonic, then coffee, and then rum. I don’t know that I would drink this again because it was a little bitter for my palate (I’m not big on any tonic drink), but it was nice to find a cocktail made with something other than a gin base to make use of our Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic Water.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$14.58 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Oloroso Sherry
 ¾ oz Dark Rum
 ¾ oz Galliano Ristretto
 ½ oz Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic Water
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Add sherry, rum, coffee liqueur, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass over a fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with tonic water.

5

Stir for 3-5 more seconds.

6

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Oloroso Sherry
 ¾ oz Dark Rum
 ¾ oz Galliano Ristretto
 ½ oz Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic Water
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add sherry, rum, coffee liqueur, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass over a fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with tonic water.

5

Stir for 3-5 more seconds.

6

Garnish with lemon twist.

King Neptune’s Tonic

Make It a Mocktail: Use Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry, Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum, and Lyre’s Coffee Original Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the coffee liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Fitch & Leedes Tonic Water Premium Indian Tonic (24 bottles x 6.8 fl. oz. / 200ml)
Fitch & Leedes Tonic Water Premium Indian Tonic (24 bottles x 6.8 fl. oz. / 200ml)
Do you know the difference between good and exceptional? Fitch & Leedes. We Know.
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
$16.95 Amazon Prime

More Tonic Cocktails

If you like this tonic-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Trellis Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Trellis Gin & Tonic: An ombré gin cocktail made with cucumber and rose pink tonic water, lime juice, and a rolled cucumber

Gunga Din Cocktail Recipe

Gunga Din: A gin cocktail made with pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup, passion fruit syrup, cardamom pods, tonic water, pineapple fronds, and a pineapple wedge

Rosemary Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Rosemary Gin & Tonic: A gin cocktail made with grapefruit shrub, lime juice, grapefruit tonic water, grapefruit slices, and rosemary

Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic: A lemon gin cocktail made with lemon juice, thyme syrup, Indian tonic water, and a lemon wedge

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