Yorkshire Tonic puts fizz into Rainsthorpe Distillery

Sales of Yorkshire Tonic are booming just a year after being launched by family business Raisthorpe Distillery.

The drinks producer – based at Thixendale on the Wolds – has seen sales of its Yorkshire Tonic range exceeding expectations. Its Pink Grapefruit Yorkshire Tonic was awarded two coveted Gold Stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards.

Sales of the tonics are going well at Raisthorpe’s outlets in York and Leeds as well as through stockists which include independent retailers, farm shops and delis. Customer demand for larger bottles has seen Raisthorpe recently add a 500ml version to its original 200ml bottles.

Yorkshire Tonics are blended using quassia rather than quinine which Raisthorpe operations director Oliver Medforth says delivers a slightly less bitter flavour.

Oliver says: “Most tonics include quinine but we prefer to use quassia which is a lesser-known, more natural product and is not quite as bitter. It enables the sharp, crisp flavours of our tonics to shine through. We were delighted that judges at this year’s Great Taste Awards agreed our tonic was an adult soft drink which would work well both as a mixer and on its own.”

Quassia comes from the shrub Quassia Amara and as an extract is used as a flavouring substitute to quinine which used to be a common treatment for malaria.

The Yorkshire Tonic range includes strawberry and pomegranate; pink grapefruit; citrus; and apple and elderflower. Raisthorpe also produces skinny and premium tonics.

The mixers are made by blending the quassia with local water and natural citrus and fruity botanicals.

Raisthorpe was established more than 10 years ago. The company produces a range of gin and gin liqueurs as well as vodkas, whiskies and ports.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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