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Refreshing Espresso Tonic Recipe

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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 favorite summer beverage.

If you love iced coffee drinks like this one, be sure to try my brown sugar shaken espresso, sweet cream cold foam and iced espresso next time.

Glass of espresso tonic over ice

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Glasses of espresso tonic and orange

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 has 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 at home
  • 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 if you prefer. You can use a basic nespresso, a real deal espresso machine (my favorite), moka pot, or even use a cold brew coffee concentrate. Whatever type of machine you are using, be sure to use quality coffee beans.
  • 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 if you’re using club soda.
  • Garnish – Coffee and orange is a classic pairing, 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 if you prefer.
Ingredients to make espresso tonic recipe

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.

Prep. Pour tonic water into highball glass or iced coffee glass with enough ice to fill most of the glass.
Pouring tonic over ice in a glass
Make espresso. Prepare espresso and let the hot espresso cool slightly before pouring it on top of the tonic water.
Hand pouring shot of espresso over tonic water
Finish. Garnish with some fresh citrus.
Hand putting in slice of orange over espresso and tonic


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. Quite the trifecta! 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, and 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
Espresso tonic over ice

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:

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Espresso tonic in glass with orange

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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Glass of espresso tonic over ice

Refreshing Espresso Tonic Recipe

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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! 


Units Scale
  • 12 shots espresso
  • 68 oz. tonic water
  • orange slice garnish


  1. Pour 6-8 ounces of tonic water into glass with ice.
  2. Prepare espresso and let cool slightly. Pour espresso over the ice and tonic.
  3. 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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