An Espresso and Tonic Cocktail Sounds Gross

April 30, 2015 | Liam Mathews

DNAinfo has suggested that Box Kite’s “‘spro & tonic” is New York City’s “coffee drink of the summer.”

According to DNAinfo’s Emilie Ruscoe, who mustered up the courage to try this concoction, the ‘spro & tonic is:

a cold, bubbly concoction that’s made by adding a shot of espresso to a glass of tonic water. The result is not unlike a cocktail, and tastes surprisingly sweet even without the addition of sugar and cream, which means it may have the makings of a major New York City summertime drink trend.

I will offer my own unqualified-but-common-sensical rebuttal to this prediction: it will not catch on, because a mixture of espresso and tonic sounds disgusting. When informed of this drink’s existence, ANIMAL editor Bucky Turco said, “I’d rather sink my teeth into a piss soufflé.”

It’s simple mathematics: espresso = bitter. Tonic = bitter. Espresso + tonic = double bitter. It can only be “surprisingly sweet” if “surprisingly sweet” means “surprisingly I didn’t throw up” or “surprisingly it didn’t burn my esophagus like Drano.” Who thought to mix these together? Are the employees of Box Kite behind the counter like, “how funny would it be if we gave people espresso and tonic?” This feels like a prank, because a ‘spro & tonic is something Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland would drink.

I’ll admit that there is a slim possibility that this isn’t disgusting, using the precedent of gin & tonic. Gin and tonic on their own are disgusting, but when combined some alchemy happens and a delicious drink is produced. Perhaps tonic has some magical property where it can combine with any other bitter beverage and make it taste good. But everyone knows the true deliciousness catalyst for gin & tonic is lime, and I can’t in good conscience squeeze lime juice into a coffee and then drink it. Just imagining that makes me gag.

If Box Kite brings a free ‘spro & tonic to the ANIMAL office, I’ll try it, but that’s the only way I’d even consider it. Yes, that’s a challenge. #TeamRegularAssIcedCoffee4Life

(P.S. I’ve never heard of a “coffee drink of the summer” before. Declaring things “X of the summer” has gotten way out of hand. I hereby decree that not declaring things the thing of the summer is the new declaring things the thing of the summer)

(Photo: Sean Dreilinger)