Here is a recipe for homemade tonic syrup that’s perfect for making a gin and tonic. Aside from the cinchona, water, sugar, citric acid, and salt, feel free to modify this recipe to suit your tastes. This recipe provides the classic lime acidity with the added bitterness of grapefruit, and some supporting herbs and spices to give it a little backbone – I’m particularly fond of what the bay leaf adds.
To use it, simply add ¾ ounce of the syrup to 1½ ounces of gin. Add 2-3 ounces of club soda, top with ice, garnish with a lime wedge.
If you’re a gin and tonic fan, you’ll probably also enjoy this post where I ranked several popular tonic waters. In which case you’d just skip this recipe and cut to the chase.
Combine all ingredients except sugar and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain out solids and transfer back into saucepan. The liquid’s volume should now be around 4 cups.
Add and dissolve the sugar then add bay leaf. Steep for 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and bottle the syrup.
Caution: Measure cinchona bark precisely. Over consumption of quinine can cause cinchonism. You won’t die, but you could experience mild symptoms such as sweating, blurred vision, impaired hearing, abdominal pain, dizziness, and nausea to name a few. More severe symptoms could include temporary deafness, temporary blindness, and abnormal heartbeat.
It is safer to use the cinchona bark as opposed to cinchona powder. If you use quinine sulfate, use extreme caution and use a very accurate scale. This recipe is not intended to be used with quinine sulfate.
Negroni Week – one of my favorite weeks of the year. Not only do I get to partake in the forever-classic negroni, but to participate in supporting charity. However, this year is a bit different from prior years. Participating venues select a charity from the vetted list provided by Imbibe and Campari then make an initial donation to the charity.
I’ve read dozens of articles explaining how to make clear ice. Some articles will claim that you have to use distilled water to get clear ice, while others claim that it can be tap water as long as you boil it twice. In addition to the various water types there are numerous ice molds available, most with corresponding marketing materials showing perfectly crystal clear ice. Since the dawn of the cocktail renaissance, enthusiasts have lusted after the beautifully cut, clear cubes adorning their old fashioneds and sazeracs at craft cocktail bars. Whether you’re new to cocktails or a longtime enthusiast, by the time you finish reading this post you’ll have a better grasp of the how clear ice is made, options for making clear ice at home, as well as one of the best visual illustrations of the process I’ve ever seen. The same process used to create clear ice can even be adapted to freeze flowers, mint, and other garnishes inside.
Alex Day of Death & Co. named this punch after famous ex-bootlegger, Sherman Billingsley. I’ve made this recipe a few times and have modified it slightly from the original based on the preferences of myself and my guests. I’m not saying the Death & Co. recipe is wrong, just that I’ve opted to make this punch a little less sweet and a tad more boozy. Read more
For the cocktail enthusiast, Halloween can be a tricky holiday. There is no shortage of cocktails and punches with over the top garnishes and sugary, colorful concoctions that people are hell-bent on shooting. Luckily, there are several options that don’t require the enthusiast to sell their soul. Here are three that I’ve specifically selected for Halloween.
As we age, our palates change, and whether that’s due to physiology or simply preference is akin to the nature versus nurture debate. Reality is likely a combination of both. Sometimes we call certain tastes “acquired” and research suggests that there is indeed a baseline amount of exposure to a new flavor that must occur before it becomes preferred. Developing a palate for the bitter notes of hops in beer or the bitter acidity in black coffee are two prime examples. Around the age of 40, Read more