An espresso tonic might sound odd, but you’ll be hooked after the first sip! It combines rich and classic espresso with crisp tonic for a refreshing pick-me-up like no other. Add some citrusy flavor with a slice of lemon, orange, or lime and you’ll understand why this coffee drink has become so popular. The citrusy notes add so much to the espresso, don’t skip the fruit! This simple recipe can easily be made at home so you can enjoy this beverage at anytime. It’s an excellent choice for a little caffeine kick anytime of day and is sure to become a personal favorite.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
- What is an espresso tonic?
- What You'll Love About Espresso Tonics
- How to Make an Espresso and Tonic
- Why is espresso tonic so good?
- Where did espresso tonic originate?
- What else can I add to a coffee tonic?
What is an espresso tonic?
An espresso tonic is just what it sounds like and it’s a favorite among coffee lovers! It’s refreshing, slightly sweet, and a touch of citrus for the perfect caffeinated summer beverage. It combines an espresso shot (or two!) and your favorite tonic water, served over ice cubes with a citrus peel.
What You’ll Love About Espresso Tonics
- Cold and refreshing
- Great summer drink
- Easy to make
- Ready in minutes
- You’ll need just 2 ingredients
- Easy to customize
- Espresso – I recommend a double shot of espresso (like all of my espresso drinks!), but you can also use a single shot. You can use a basic nespresso, a real deal espresso machine (my favorite), moka pot, or even use a cold brew coffee concentrate.
- Tonic water – You can choose your favorite tonic water. Fever tree tonic is my personal favorite and high-quality, but use your favorite, Q tonic is another popular brand. The flavor won’t quite be the same with club soda, but it’s always an option too. Add a splash of simple syrup for some sweetness.
- Garnish – I like orange paired with coffee, but you could really use any citrus peel, lime or lemon would also be delicious. You can also grate some orange zest over the top of the drink.
How to Make an Espresso and Tonic
This is an overview on how to make an espresso tonic in just a few simple steps, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.
Why is espresso tonic so good?
This coffee drink has quickly become a popular order at coffee shops because it’s refreshing, cold, and caffeinated. Most iced coffee drinks (like this iced espresso) contain a lot of milk, which can sometimes feel heavy on a hot day. This espresso tonic recipe is light, bright, and refreshing.
Where did espresso tonic originate?
The espresso tonic (or kaffe & tonic) came to be after a drink was made with leftover tonic, espresso, and syrup the day after a staff party. The concoction was so good that the founders of Koppi Roasters in Sweden added it to their coffee shop menu in 2007. It grew in popularity and then started showing up in specialty coffee shops around the US, I remember seeing it in Los Angeles years ago, but now it’s pretty common at upscale and creative cafes all over.
What else can I add to a coffee tonic?
There are also some other options for flavor and sweetness additions that will turn this basic drink into a drink with endless variations:
- Splash of orange juice, lemonade, or limeade
- Simple syrup – add according to taste preference
- Flavored syrup – try a citrus syrup
- Bitters – add a few drops of bitters to the tonic
- Garnish – sprig of rosemary if you aren’t using citrus
What to Serve with Espresso Tonic
This drink is really perfect anytime of the day and makes a wonderful afternoon drink if you’re into caffeine all day, but it’s also great in the morning. Here are a few breakfast ideas to serve along with it:
More Coffee Drinks You’ll Want to Try
If you like this iced coffee drink, you might also like some of these other coffee drinks:
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The espresso tonic combines rich espresso with crisp tonic for a refreshing pick-me-up like no other. It’s become a popular drink for a reason!
- 1–2 shots espresso
- 6–8 oz. tonic water
- orange slice garnish
- Pour 6-8 ounces of tonic water into glass with ice.
- Prepare espresso and let cool slightly. Pour espresso over the ice and tonic.
- Top with orange slice.
- You can use any citrus – lemon and lime are also delicious and refreshing
- Nutrition facts do not include any added sweetener
Keywords: espresso tonic recipe, espresso tonic
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