Drinking gin and tonic can be outstanding experience if it’s done the right way. Not many people might realise this but tonic takes the most part in this drink so it’s important to use good brands such as Fever-tree which although might be a bit pricey. So If you don’t want to invest in a good quality mixer I would highly recommend to make one of them yourself in a very simple process.
Quinine is a bitter compound base for the tonic water which can be found in the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine is known as a medication to prevent and treat malaria and is also the mild muscle relaxant.
By making quinine syrup you can have more control over the flavour and you can adjust ratio gin: quinine syrup: soda water as you want or quinine syrup: soda water for the non-alcoholic version.
Making the Quinine syrup
You have 2 options you can either make firstly Quinine tincture by dissolving Cinchona bark in vodka(can take up to 1 hour), double strain through the coffee filter and then simmer other ingredients for 20 minutes, strain, let it cool and then mix 40 ml quinine tincture with other ingredients. The benefit of this is that Quinine tincture can last a lifetime, you have more control over the flavour of your drink and you can make more batches of the tincture ahead.
Quinine tincture (1g/25ml)
12 g Cinchona bark powder
300 ml Vodka
20g citric acid, zest of 3 limes, zest of 3 lemons, zest of 1 grapefruit, 3 stalks of chopped lemongrass, 9 whole allspice berries, 20g of Lavender, pinch of sea salt, 400g cane sugar, 500ml water
The second option(non-alcoholic) is to bring to the boil all ingredients (except the cane sugar) but along with 20g Cinchona bark powder and let it simmer for 30 minutes on the low heat, double strain through the coffee filter, then mix with cane sugar, let it cool and bottle.
How to make tonic water?
Simply combine Quinine syrup with Soda water in the highball glass with ice. Recommended ratio is 4:1 Soda to Syrup but you can adjust it according to your taste. Or you can check the article Different ways to carbonate bottled drink or cocktail for the ultimate experience.
If you like you can check also the recipe for Ultimate gin and tonic.