Serious Eats: Recipes
DIY Tonic Water
If you're unhappy with the flavor of commercial tonics and like to geek out in the kitchen, DIY tonic is a lot of fun. This basic recipe goes well with gin and is a great starting point for playing with your own unique herb and spice combinations.
- The tonic is going to be yellowish-brown in color. This is a normal and natural result from using cinchona bark instead of synthetic or pharmaceutical quinine. Lhasa Karnak sells cinchona bark online and at their Berkeley locations. Some Latin or Asian markets carry it as well. I used cut bark rather than powder, because it is easier to filter and provides a bold flavor.
- Citric acid powder, also known as sour salt, is easy to find at most markets, but you can order it online from Amazon, too.
- You can substitute agave nectar for the sugar, but be aware that you will need less—about 2/3 cup of agave for every 1 cup of sugar.
- If you don't have cheesecloth, you can strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and then strain again through a coffee filter.
- For the carbonated water, you can buy seltzer or unsalted sparkling water, or you can carbonate your own water using an old fashioned soda siphon or Sodastream machine.