As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to extensively study and analyze various tonic water brands. When it comes to the ingredients used in tonic water, it is important to read the labels carefully. From my observations, it is evident that the majority of major tonic producers such as Schweppes, Canada Dry, and most supermarket own-brand tonics use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a sweetener.
One cannot ignore the fact that HFCS is considerably cheaper than sugar. This cost factor plays a significant role in why these tonic water brands choose to use HFCS instead of sugar. The usage of HFCS allows them to keep the prices of their products lower compared to healthier options that use sugar.
Having said that, it is essential to note that not all tonic water brands contain HFCS. There are some artisanal or craft tonic water brands available in the market that use natural sweeteners like cane sugar or agave syrup instead of HFCS. These alternatives are generally considered to be healthier options as they do not have the same negative associations as HFCS.
In my personal experiences, I have come across a few tonic water brands that pride themselves on using natural sweeteners. These brands often highlight their commitment to using quality ingredients and avoiding the use of HFCS. While these artisanal tonic waters may be slightly more expensive than the mainstream options, they offer a different flavor profile and a potentially healthier choice for those who are conscious about the ingredients they consume.
To sum it up, while the majority of tonic water brands in the market do contain high fructose corn syrup, there are artisanal options available that use natural sweeteners like cane sugar or agave syrup. It is essential for consumers to carefully read the labels and choose the option that best aligns with their preferences and priorities.