Tonic without the Twist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Emily Terbrueggen   
Sunday, 13 December 2009 12:33

Tonic without the Twist
Put down that Red Bull and vodka, and pour out your "light" beer. It's time for a spirited makeover, so grab your gals and become a part of the "cocktail cultural renaissance"!

It is totally normal to meet up at your regular bar and order your regular drink and have a pretty OK time. But considering it's almost a new year — and a new decade don't you think it's time to make over your cocktail hour? Tonic on Fourth is just the place to shake up your night — and possibly your drink!


Located in the building that used to hold Pigall's Twist Lounge, Tonic is a speakeasy-style bar inspired by classic cocktails and the craft of mixing them. While Tonic offers an excellent selection of handcrafted beers and wine, Josh Durr, Tonic's bar consultant and classic cocktail expert, finds that the amount of research, time and energy behind every cocktail served truly elevates these historic libations to a higher level. "It's an art form quite frankly," Durr says.


Tonic carries a wide array of top-shelf spirits to tickle every customer's taste buds whether with vodka, gin, or single malt scotch. And in keeping with the old-fashioned, handcrafted tradition of their cocktails, Tonic also hand makes its own ingredients, including house-made bitters, liqueurs, tinctures and tonic … and even ice!


Tonic's "ice program," as Durr calls it, is something you really won't see every day. Seeing as ice is a key ingredient in nearly every cocktail served at Tonic, they start with the cleanest possible ice, using water from a triple-filtered source that is then frozen into large blocks, perfectly cubed ice, and Japanese style ice balls. Each style of ice is used to complement a drink and make it taste better. Whether it's to keep the introduction of water and dilution down or to get shaken drinks colder, quicker, the reason behind Tonic's complexities is to make a tastier cocktail.


"We just want to make sure that every time you join us at Tonic it's not just a drink at a bar. It's an experience," Durr says.


In addition to using the best ingredients, Tonic also hand picked and trained the best bartenders. Staff members had to go through more than 90 hours of rigorous training on classic cocktail mixology, spirit history and technique, Durr says. The bartenders at Tonic will not only mix a terrific drink but also will give customers some history on the drinks they're serving and suggestions on what other handcrafted concoctions they might enjoy.


No one type of drink is pushed more than others at Tonic, Durr says, "We ask what [customers] are feeling like. How was their day? What do they normally drink? We make suggestions on individuals, not particular drinks."


In the new year, Durr and Tonic also will be offering educational classes on how to make classic cocktails at home. Keep an eye on Tonic's Web site for more information and how to sign up or call (513) 721-1345.


To learn more and to check out Tonic's full menu, visit their Web site at or visit the lounge located Downtown at 125 W. Fourth St.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Candace Wilson
Location: The McAlpin

Emily Terbrueggen -

Emily Terbrueggen is Cincy Chic’s editorial intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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