St. Hildie’s Bontonica might not have the name recognition of White Claw or Truly (yet) but the company has recently introduced a trio of spiked tincture tonics - a sparkling alcoholic drink made with herbs and fruits - to the craft alcohol market.
The female-owned company is located in Mill Valley, California and takes their name from St. Hildegard von Bingen. St. Hildiegard was born back in 1098 and was a mystic, a musician, and, most importantly, the mother of plant medicine.
St. Hildie’s features three tasteful alternatives to hard seltzers with their Guava Ginger, Elderberry Hibiscus, and Lemon Turmeric tonics. Each 12-ounce can contains a 5% ABV but, sadly, if you’re outside of California (specifically the LA and San Francisco areas), it can be hard to find these guys. However, I was able to snag three cans, one of each, for $13.
Today I try the Lemon Turmeric, which was made with ginger and lemon juices, basil and curcumin/turmeric extract, and eleuthero (ginseng). It’s 7.25% juice and has just 3 carbs and 110 calories.
The tonic poured a nearly translucent color, with just a small yellowish tint to it. If you held it up to the light, it was completely see-through though. There was a lot of fizz when poured out but the foam quickly disappeared like any tonic/soda, leaving just a few clear bubbles at the top.
On the nose this brew had a nice mixture of lemon and ginger and almost reminded me of ginger beer or ginger ale...just with a little more sweetness from the fruit. As a fan of ginger, I couldn’t wait to get started.
My first sip had a flash of carbonation rush across my tongue. Initially it was sweet and slightly tart, with the lemon notes hitting first. However, soon after there was a nice kick of ginger/turmeric that added a subtle, yet noticeable, spice to the concoction.
The lemon gets stronger at first, bringing a slight tartness around the midway point before beginning to fade on the back stretch.
The spice, however, excels on the back end with a nice kick of turmeric that sits towards the back of my tongue and lingers for a little while after everything else has faded.
After the majority of the can had vanished (quite quickly, I might add), the heat did start to sink into my chest, warming it up some with that spicy kind of burn.
If you like the kick from ginger, this is quite a delicious beverage. The sweet, slightly tart lemon up front and the pop of spicy turmeric on the back end...perfect for summer days and lounging around outside. And, not going to lie, I might try to get another can of it so I can add some vodka and make a hybrid mule/vodka tonic.