Saturday, July 7, 2018

Quntessential Summer

I think gin and tonic is just the most perfect summer drink. That and sangria.

Why does my gin and tonic look like tea?!

My gin and tonic looks like tea because I make my own tonic water! And I don't have big industrial strength ceramic filters like the soft drink companies have. I started making my own tonic water because I refuse to knowingly consume HFCS in any amount no matter how small. And...much to my disappointment, most tonic waters have HFCS. And nevermind the diet versions. I think they taste funny. Whole Foods house brand tonic water uses sugar but I find it's a little sweet. My favorite is Fever-Tree. But it's expensive. And availability is a little spotty.

So. I started making my own! It's easy! There are lots of recipes around the web. This one is probably the most well known. A lot of them have citrus, some have spices. Some even have lemon grass. There's even a kit!

Mine is a very basic recipe. I use Nature's Wonderland powdered chinchona bark and Ball citric acid.
  • 2 tablespoons chinchona bark powder
  • 2 tablespoons citric acid
  • 2 cups water
Combine and simmer gently for 20 minutes in a non reactive sauce pan. Let it cool and let the powder settle. Then I gently pour the solution into a Melitta coffee maker and a mesh cone filter. Being careful not to disturb the mud from the bottom of the sauce pan.

This first filter cycle takes only a few minutes. It's just to reduce the clogging of the paper filter in the next step

Filter the solution again using a paper coffee filter

This filtration will take very much longer. I leave it on the counter when I've left for the day or filter it overnight. Usually this is sufficient but sometimes I filter it a third time.

One and 3/4 cups of filtered solution!

The final step is to combine the solution with sugar to make tonic water syrup. I use 2/3 cup of sugar for each cup of solution. mix 1 oz. of tonic water syrup with 2 oz. of your favorite gin in a rocks glass, fill with club soda, add a lime (or lemon) wedge and enjoy!

By the way, I think that ounce if tonic water syrup is about 28 calories.

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