Fever Tree thinks so. The firm, a small producer of premium cocktail mixers, makes its products from the finest ingredients sourced largely from small producers. That means things like fruit juices, soft spring water, cane sugar, real ginger and natural quinine. Compare that with the saccharin sweeteners and artificial preservatives in major brands. Fever Tree co-founder Charles Rolls makes the case that up to 75% of the cocktail is the mixer, so it affects the flavor of the finished drink. This sounded compelling, so I decided to get some expert opinion from my rolodex of Dallas bartenders.
Michael Martensen of The Cedars Social and formerly at The Mansion Bar at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek replied, “Fever Tree is all I use for mixers behind the bar at The Cedars Social. It is the highest quality of mixer that I have found for each category that they make a mixer for: ie club soda, ginger beer, etc. What also makes it so good is how consistent the Fever Trees are. As a bartender, you want to be able to grab a bottle on confidence and know you are pouring the best product available.We go through 20 cases of Fever Tree a week! As for ‘Is it important pour a high quality mixer?’ Yes, just as important as using filtered ice.”
Rocco Milano at Private Social said, “When looking at mass produced brands you are hard pressed to make a better line of product mixer than what Fever Tree offers. When we first opened, we did a house made ginger beer. When we starting going through over 25 lbs of ginger a week we needed to look for some alternatives. I settled on Fever Tree for its quality. I still add some lime and simple to adjust it to where I like when I use it, but it is a solid ginger forward product. I have tried several of there other products and have sold them as I have needed them. They are not the cheapest game in town, so it’s a commitment.”
To these two pros, the mixer matters. Milano’s last point is an important one: If you go to a bar and they use Fever Tree, then that bar is buying a more expensive mixer than it needs to. Maybe that is an indicator of quality.