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Refreshing Summer Pick Me Up Drink: Coffee Tonic

Refreshing Summer Pick Me Up Drink: Coffee Tonic

December 23, 2023

When it comes to summer in Aus, are you on the hunt for a beverage that seamlessly combines refreshment with your love for coffee?  


If you are a coffee lover then a coffee tonic may be exactly what you are searching for! This is a summer alternative to traditional coffee with a refreshing twist. Try out our coffee tonic recipe or change it up by infusing various flavours


Elevate your summer sipping with this trendy and creative take on coffee, providing a unique fusion of familiar coffee notes and the crisp, bubbly allure of tonic water.



Tonic coffee is a type of coffee beverage that simply combines coffee with tonic water. Most people add some sort of sugar syrup for sweetness as both coffee and tonic water are quite bitter. This concoction results in a refreshing and effervescent drink. There are many variations of tonic coffee, with some recipes using cold brew coffee, espresso, or iced coffee as the base, which is then mixed with tonic water and often served over ice.


When espresso is the coffee used as the base of the drink, it is called an espresso tonic rather than a coffee tonic. This is popular with those that prefer the strength of coffee that espresso brings. It’s a little deeper in flavour due to the higher ratio of coffee beans to water. 



25-30ml of coffee, this can be your standard coffee chilled or cold brew concentrate (you can either buy this or make it at home using good quality coffee beans). Check out our cold brew recipe.

180ml of tonic water

1-2 tablespoons of sugar syrup (can be swapped out for any other syrup)

Ice cubes 


  1. Pre-refrigerate your glass.
  2. Brew your coffee but don’t add it to your glass yet (preferably grinding up fresh coffee beans and brewing using your favourite method).
  3. Place ice cubes in a glass.
  4. Pour your desired amount of sugar syrup over the ice (if you have just made it at home, allow it to cool prior to this step).
  5. Add your tonic water into the glass.
  6. Pour the coffee over the top of the tonic water and watch it swirl together.
  7. Mix well before enjoying.



Frozen cold brew – Freeze cold brew in ice cube trays to use in coffee tonic so that when they melt, the ice doesn’t dilute the coffee flavour.

Sugar syrup – Make your own sugar syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water for a couple of minutes until the sugar dissolves and store in glass jar for up to 1 month in the fridge).

Cool glasses – Pre-refrigerate glasses to keep the drink cooler for longer.


Coffee tonic is a polarising drink for some as both coffee and tonic water are strong flavours with bitterness to them. Then if you add the ‘fizz’ component, some may say it’s a strange combination before they give it a try. 

Coffee tonic has a unique and refreshing taste. Although coffee is bitter, it has a deep richness to it, the tonic offsets that nicely with its carbonated bitter taste. 

Some tonic coffee recipes may also include additional elements like citrus slices, herbs, or flavoured syrups, contributing to a more complex and nuanced taste.



To personalise your coffee tonic to suit your tastes, try incorporating some of the below suggestions:

Citrus infused: Add 25mls of orange juice for an orange coffee tonic.

Fruit or Herb Garnishes: You can try a slice of lemon, orange, mint leaves or even some raspberries for added freshness, finesse or vibrant pop of colour. 

Flavoured Syrups: Explore a spectrum of flavours by substituting the sugar syrup in the recipe with sweet syrups. Caramel, raspberry, or vanilla syrups can introduce unique flavour profiles, creating a customised blend that perfectly complements your taste preferences.

Different alcohols: Transform this summer beverage into a boozy treat! Add some baileys or vodka to your drink for a fresh summer cocktail. 

Coffee experimentation: Embarking on a quest to redefine your tonic coffee experience, consider the transformative power of experimenting with diverse brewing methods and coffee bean selections. Opt for a bold espresso or a subtle flavour of cold brew. The choice of beans becomes a pivotal element, offering an opportunity to infuse floral, chocolatey, or fruity notes into your tonic coffee. This dynamic interplay of brewing methods and coffee varieties serves as an artistic expression, allowing you to personalise your drink. 

The Coffee tonic is a great summer alternative to your usual hot brew. It is refreshing and adaptable so you can tailor it to your specific tastes. 

You can alter brewing methods, add extra ingredients and experiment with different coffee beans. So try the recipe above and get creative with flavour profiles, garnishes and more!

For more coffee cocktail recipes check out our Complete Guide To Cold Brew Coffee Cocktails.

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