East Imperial

Inspired by an authentic 1903
East Asian family recipe

At East Imperial, tradition and quality are of the utmost importance. All of our products are made using only the purest ingredients sustainably sourced from Asia and Africa, the home of the original tonic water.

We believe the spirit should do the talking. Our traditional small-batch method of production ensures this is the case by enhancing the freshness and subtleties of any spirit’s botanicals.

By working with authentic ingredient suppliers and the very best global distillers and bartenders since our inception, we have created a range of ultra-premium mixers that stand out from the crowd of the overly sweet soft drinks on the market.

We only use all natural ingredients with no artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives. This practice provides the best tasting product with the added benefit of being good for you.

PROUDLY MADE IN NEW ZEALAND

All our products are proudly made in New Zealand, one of only 3 countries allowed to bottle straight from the source. Our water makes up 95% of our mixers, so it’s only fair we ensure it's of the highest quality.

THE HISTORY

Back in 1825, British Army officers combined quinine, sugar and water in an attempt to create a daily tonic to act as a malaria prophylaxis. Gin was later added to the mix to mask the strong and bitter taste of the quinine water.

195 years on, the quintessential gin and tonic has come a very long way. But not necessarily in a good way. The overly sweet citric acid soft drinks of our time have replaced genuine, traditional tonic water. These modern drinks completely mask the herbaceous aromas of premium gin and other spirits, manipulating the role that tonic water now plays in modern mixology.

Batavia, Java, INDONESIA

This place holds a very special significance to us. It was where the Administrative Headquarters of the Dutch East India Company were built in 1707. They quickly took control of the global Quinine trade, a staggering 95% and continued to do so all the way until 1942. (The Japanese attacked the port in WWII). This is the authentic, historic and original source for Quinine.

The global center of trade that allowed for the humble G&T to flourish throughout Asia and the world is now once again on the map as the source of Quinine for the East Imperial range.

The original cinchona plantations

The hand-picked cinchona that we use originates from the very same Java, Indonesia plantation that was used to supply the anti-malaria daily rations for the early pioneers and settlers in East Africa and East Asia in 1903. It takes seven years for our cinchona trees to grow, and the scraping, air drying, smoking and processing takes a further seventeen days. That’s what it takes to put the finest tonic water in your tumbler.

These are not soft drinks. We believe the spirit should do the talking. our traditional small-batch method of production ensures this is the case by enhancing the freshness and subtleties of any spirit's botanicals. 

Authentic ingredient sourcing

Our Mombasa Ginger Beer and Thai Dry Ginger Ale are based on the same philosophy as our tonic waters, using only all-natural ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. We also use a traditional brewing process that takes three days using the best gingers from both Kenya and Thailand. Family tales of the original Mombasa Ginger Beer inspired our classic and time-honored ginger beer recipe. We sort to recreate what was in the tumblers of early settlers at the Muthaiga Country Club, Kenya, at the turn of last century. Less sugar compared to other ginger beers and dry ginger ales, both deliver an incredibly long-lasting ginger spice making it the perfect complement to spirits.

A NOTABLE PARTNERSHIP

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew embodies over 250 years of exploration, discovery and the pioneering spirit. Kew played an important role in the story of quinine, transporting cinchona tree seedlings from South America to India. This use of this vital medicinal plant eventually led to the greatest cocktail of all time, the humble G&T.

Through our partnership with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, we have created our Royal Botanic Tonic. A unique tonic water which introduces a subtle brightness to your glass with refreshing notes of elderflower, combined with the tart taste of ruby red grapefruit and bitterness of sustainably sourced quinine from the highlands of Batavia in Java, home of the original cinchona (quinine) plantations.

This partnership is borne from a shared passion for exploration, discovery and the natural world. Together we salute the botanists, the explorers and the rich contribution the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has made to our history.

So raise your glasses and let’s celebrate this remarkable history and partnership with the world’s finest tonic water.

IT'S TIME TO FIND OUT WHY EAST IMPERIAL IS POURED AT THE WORLD'S LEADING BARS AND HOTELS