Make Your Own Tonic Syrup For Better Tasting Cocktails

Make Your Own Tonic Syrup for Better Tasting Cocktails

If you're looking to up your cocktail game, this tonic syrup is easy to make, and can be customised by adding your own special ingredients. Photo by Didriks.

Tonic goes great with gin and vodka, and Chad Eschman at VinePair shares his method for making some killer tonic syrup you can use on your own custom cocktails at home. You'll need one and a half cups of water, one and a half teaspoons of chopped Cinchona bark and one cup of cane sugar. (Cinchona is native to America, but Australians can order the bark online.) Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add your Cinchona bark and any other additional ingredients you may want (like citrus zest). Simmer for about a half hour, let it cool then use a French press to separate the liquid from the ingredients. Then add your cane sugar to your liquid in a sealed glass container and shake it up. When you're ready to make a cocktail, add about a 15mL of syrup to some sparkling water and you'll have some great-tasting homemade tonic water. You can find the complete recipe at the link below.

Why You Should Be Making Your Own Tonic (With Recipe) [VinePair]


    Issue with this is you can't guarantee how much quinine you'll end up with in it. Quinine can be dangerous to certain people in high amounts as it can trigger heart arrhythmia among other things. You're probably not going to overdose or something, but commercial tonic water has around 80mg per liter which isn't much.

    DO NOT use this if you take blood clotting medication and some antidepressants. You will die.

    I had just scrolled down to make the same comment so instead I'll speak in support. I was surprised to learn from a colleague last year just how nasty quinine can be.

    Now I'll probably have a go at this home-made tonic myself but please, don't be tempted to overdo the quinine from the bark, quinine has many potential unpleasant side effects up to and including death (not to mention erectile dysfunction).

    The trouble with buying tonic water is you never really use that much if you just want a couple of after-work G&Ts and it's not much use for anything else unless malaria is a problem for you. You either buy the relatively expensive small bottles or waste the rest of a larger bottle - giving the kids a glass of tonic water only works once.

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