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scott123

Making Tonic Water and Tonic/Quinine Syrup

78 posts in this topic

Have had the thought, and looked around for quinine, but had no luck sourcing any.  Would love to know if there is a commercial source of the building blocks of tonic.

I know I'm coming to this thread a little late in the game, but I was in Tijuana last weekend at the Mercado Hidalgo (a big municpal market). Among all the great produce, sweets, and more than a few tacos de cabeza, several of the herb stores sold small (<1") cinchona blocks in their tea sections. Of course, I thought immediately of making bitters, but then I've got almost a dozen bottles at home, so there really wasn't much excuse I could have for bringing it home.

Fortunately, I'm about 20 minutes from TJ, so I can go nearly any time. I may just have to rethink that whole not-bringing-any-home thing. For those of you who don't live so close to the border, I'd check out local Mexican herb stores or health food stores where it might be in with herbs for tisanes, concoctions, infusions, etc.

By the way, John, I'm liking the idea of a quinine syrup. I may just have to snag a bag of chinocha when I head back south, regardless of raised eyebrows back at the house...

Matthew


Matthew B. Rowley

Rowley's Whiskey Forge, a blog of drinks, food, and the making thereof

Author of Moonshine! (ISBN: 1579906486)

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Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted an update recently. I will do so tonight when I get home.

For the citric, for about 4-5 cups of syrup I have been adding about 2 tablespoons of Citric Acid.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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So here is the recipe I have used so far.

25mg Cincona bark dissolved in 50mg of neutral spirits

Let sit overnight.

--

Add to 4 cups 1:1 simple syrup and 2 cups hot water, let sit overnight.

Strain

--

Remove 2 cups of strained syrup, add

2 Tbs Lime Simple syrup

2 Tbs Lime Juice

1 Tbs Lemon Juice

1/4 tsp Citric Acid

4 crushed juniper berries

--

Let sit 5 days, remove juniper

On another note, I tasted some of Jordan's Q Tonic last night. Wow. I can't wait for this to show up in stores. It is really good. Lightly carbonated, great quinine taste, with a haunting agave taste after the fact. I think he got the sweetness to quinine dead on, I am just wondering what it will taste like with a little more carbonation.

I did a tasting of it plain, and with Plymouth and compared to Schwepps it was amazing. You really don't realize how much sugar is in commercial tonic water until you either read the label, or compare it to something like Q.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I recently got the chance to sample jordan's Q tonic, and wanted to comment...

It is very clean in its flavor profile, and restrained in its intensity. It is well carbonated and comes across as very well balanced when mixed with gin. I find that I prefer a bit more citrus than is in there, but that is what limes are for. Most notable is the absence of any of the common objectionable flavors that turn up in tonic-- no metallic, no oversweet, no artificiality. This is not a recipe that shouts.

If this is the result of tonic homebrewing experiments, then we all should take jordan's example seriously, as he's walked the path and gotten someplace interesting.


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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After putting in a few hours of research, this is what I've learned:

The quinine in tonic water is either quinine sulfate or quinine hydrochloride.  Up until a few years ago, quinine sulfate was available in over the counter leg cramp remedies.  Due to a handful of overdose fatalities, it is now only available by prescription.

I did a google search and found several places to buy online. it comes in several forms including powder, tablets and capsuls.


Living hard will take its toll...

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Nice article in today's NY Times about tonic water. Talks about Q Tonic, Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water and Stirrings tonic water. Also has a nice quote from one of my favorite bartenders:

Jim Meehan, a bartender at Gramercy Tavern and the Pegu Club in Manhattan, has been working for more than a year on a subtle variation of his own that is infused with lime and lemongrass. He believes there is room behind the bar for more than one tonic water.

"Maybe Q Tonic tastes best with a citrusy gin like Plymouth, and a more floral tonic, like the one I make, tastes better with dry gins like Tanqueray and Beefeater," Mr. Meehan said. He conceded that the concept of tonic specificity is "an advanced idea" that might take a while to catch on.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Congrats Jordan!

Where can we find it?


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Jim Meehan, a bartender at Gramercy Tavern and the Pegu Club in Manhattan, has been working for more than a year on a subtle variation of his own that is infused with lime and lemongrass. He believes there is room behind the bar for more than one tonic water.

Interesting. I recently tried a bottle of the lemongrass Dry Soda, and my first thought was how well it would go with gin.

http://drysoda.com/


"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Sorry for disappearing - it's been real hectic keeping up with the article’s aftermath. Q Tonic actually won’t be at your favorite watering hole until later in February. I’ll certainly let you all know when and where.

Congrats Jordan!

Where can we find it?

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Sorry for disappearing - it's been real hectic keeping up with the article’s aftermath. Q Tonic actually won’t be at your favorite watering hole until later in February. I’ll certainly let you all know when and where.
Congrats Jordan!

Where can we find it?

Jordan -- what about retail?


"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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I tried some of the Q when Jordan was sampling it out. It's truly many notches above the typical commercial offerings. I'll be interested to see what the final product is like - I think the samples may have had a lower "fizz" level than is possible in a larger operation.

I'll try to convince some of the local markets and restaurants to start carrying it. Thanks for linking to the "availability" page, Sam.

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Jim Meehan, a bartender at Gramercy Tavern and the Pegu Club in Manhattan, has been working for more than a year on a subtle variation of his own that is infused with lime and lemongrass. He believes there is room behind the bar for more than one tonic water.

Interesting. I recently tried a bottle of the lemongrass Dry Soda, and my first thought was how well it would go with gin.

http://drysoda.com/

It does. A really unbelievable combination. Recommended.


Tim

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I just found out about Q Tonic the other day while watching Robert Hess' latest podcast. Seems like it's available in Dallas area at Whole Foods. I'll have to pick up some. I really DO live a gin and tonic. And that's with standard HFCS tonic. Now that I am on a serious cocktail kick, I bet I'm going to REALLY love it. (their website also has some recipes for some other cocktails that use tonic)

Also, what about Stirrings? They have a premium tonic. I thin I've even seen it at my local liquor store.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I just found out about Q Tonic the other day while watching Robert Hess' latest podcast.  Seems like it's available in Dallas area at Whole Foods.  I'll have to pick up some.  I really DO live a gin and tonic. And that's with standard HFCS tonic.  Now that I am on a serious cocktail kick, I bet I'm going to REALLY love it.  (their website also has some recipes for some other cocktails that use tonic)

Also, what about Stirrings?  They have a premium tonic. I thin I've even seen it at my local liquor store.

what do people want in a tonic water??

i've been into making soda lately and i just bought a pound of powdered quinine...

less sugar... more bitter... acidity?

saffron...? yeastiness...? better carbonation...? has tonic water traditionally ever seen any other herbs? an undisclosed whisper of pear juice in the mix to freak people out...

homemade soda via bottle fermentation can be seriously artesian... (and i have years to go before getting good at it...)

personally i don't think i'd wan't less sugar. i'd just prefer built in, high quality acidity... and i like the old raj style tint of saffron... it reminds me of empire building and decadence... i think i also want the same yeastiness i find in west port rivers vintage RJR champagnes... it also needs to be served out of a frequently used and refilled, scratched up, champange bottles... like schweppes african version of bitter lemon...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I just found out about Q Tonic the other day while watching Robert Hess' latest podcast.   Seems like it's available in Dallas area at Whole Foods.  I'll have to pick up some.  I really DO live a gin and tonic. And that's with standard HFCS tonic.  Now that I am on a serious cocktail kick, I bet I'm going to REALLY love it.  (their website also has some recipes for some other cocktails that use tonic)

Also, what about Stirrings?  They have a premium tonic. I thin I've even seen it at my local liquor store.

what do people want in a tonic water??

i've been into making soda lately and i just bought a pound of powdered quinine...

less sugar... more bitter... acidity?

saffron...? yeastiness...? better carbonation...? has tonic water traditionally ever seen any other herbs? an undisclosed whisper of pear juice in the mix to freak people out...

homemade soda via bottle fermentation can be seriously artesian... (and i have years to go before getting good at it...)

that's a good question. and one I really can't answer right now as I've never had anything other than stuff like Canada Dry and Schwepps at home and who knows what at bars and restaurants. I've never really given it any thought at all until seeing the Q tonic on Robert's podcast.

But I'd like to try some of these tonics, with various gins, even comparing them to stuff like Canada Dry to see how they differ and what may work out better.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I look forward to trying Q Tonic when/if it gets out here to Cali. In the meantime, I must say that I've never had any mixer at all (tonic or otherwise) that I've liked as much as Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. It's all I could ever ask for in a companion for gin -- or dry rum, or blanco tequila, or just a heavy squeeze of lime. Best by a mile.


Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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Just to let you know that there is a Splenda sweetened diet tonic available from Sodaclub.com


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I picked up some Q Tonic today. A 4 pack of 6.3 oz. bottles. Got it at a Whole Foods here in Dallas. It was $11.00 something. :unsure: yeah. $11 for 4 small bottles of tonic water.

Anyway.. This stuff is very different than the typical Canada Dry or whatever. It's FAR less sweet. Also, not as strongly fizzy. Not quite as strongly flavored as I was expecting.

I mixed it up with some Plymouth Gin. Added a wedge of lime. Makes for a nice G&T. But I am not so totally sure I like a basic G&T enough to keep buying this at this price. I'm going to play around with some of the other drinks they suggest on their website to see how it works out. I have three bottles left. One bottle made two drinks served in a double old fashioned glass.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Yowza!

We haven't seen the Q Tonic yet here in CA, but $11 for a 4 pack? At that price I'd definitely be working on my own version.

And I thought Fever Tree was a bit excessive at $6 for a 4 pack of small bottles...


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I picked up some Q Tonic today. A 4 pack of 6.3 oz. bottles. Got it at a Whole Foods here in Dallas.  It was $11.00 something.    :unsure:    yeah.  $11 for 4 small bottles of tonic water.

Anyway..  This stuff is very different than the typical Canada Dry or whatever.  It's FAR less sweet.  Also, not as strongly fizzy.  Not quite as strongly flavored as I was expecting.

I mixed it up with some Plymouth Gin.  Added a wedge of lime.  Makes for a nice G&T. But I am not so totally sure I like a basic G&T enough to keep buying this at this price.  I'm going to play around with some of the other drinks they suggest on their website to see how it works out. I have three bottles left. One bottle made two drinks served in a double old fashioned glass.

Which WF was this? I have checked the one on Lower Greenville and specifically sought out a couple of employees and a manager to ask about it. No dice. I'm near the one in Richardson regularly, but I'm willing to travel a bit to find some.


Tim

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I picked up some Q Tonic today. A 4 pack of 6.3 oz. bottles. Got it at a Whole Foods here in Dallas.  It was $11.00 something.    :unsure:    yeah.  $11 for 4 small bottles of tonic water.

Anyway..   This stuff is very different than the typical Canada Dry or whatever.  It's FAR less sweet.  Also, not as strongly fizzy.   Not quite as strongly flavored as I was expecting.

I mixed it up with some Plymouth Gin.  Added a wedge of lime.  Makes for a nice G&T. But I am not so totally sure I like a basic G&T enough to keep buying this at this price.  I'm going to play around with some of the other drinks they suggest on their website to see how it works out. I have three bottles left. One bottle made two drinks served in a double old fashioned glass.

Which WF was this? I have checked the one on Lower Greenville and specifically sought out a couple of employees and a manager to ask about it. No dice. I'm near the one in Richardson regularly, but I'm willing to travel a bit to find some.

The new one on Preston at Forrest. They had a small amount in the aisle with the other soda and some cocktail mixes. Then, I spied a big stack of them at the end of an aisle (one aisle over)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I could've sworn it was $9.99 when I bought a 4-pack from the flagship Whole Foods a few months ago.

But, yeah, that's pricey. I can buy a 4-pack of Unibroue beer for that money. It's good, but $4-6 is more what I feel it is worth to me.

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I could've sworn it was $9.99 when I bought a 4-pack from the flagship Whole Foods a few months ago.

But, yeah, that's pricey. I can buy a 4-pack of Unibroue beer for that money. It's good, but $4-6 is more what I feel it is worth to me.

wow, i would never pay that... i'd go with the unibroue... making soda is virtually free. all it really costs you is time... there are lots of things to learn but someone just needs to document them in a modern format to save people alot of time and experimentation... i've been working on it for a while. i didn't want to waste my quinine until i nailed the process in my hibiscus soda...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Jeff, thanks for the info. I'll be picking some up tomorrow. I won't be buying it more than once unless it's the greatest beverage I've ever tasted.


Tim

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