Homemade tonic water made from citrus, barks, herbs, spices, and simple syrup.
Keyword easy tonic water, tonic water, tonic water drink
Prep Time 20 minutesminutes
Cook Time 30 minutesminutes
Total Time 50 minutesminutes
Servings 32ounces of concentrate (not including soda water)
Author Plating Pixels
Tonic Water concentrate
Zest from 3 limes
Zest from 3 lemons
Zest from one grapefruit
1 ½tablespoonscinchona bark
1 ½tablespoonscitric acid
⅔cupchopped fresh lemongrass
Spices, herbs or flowers for extra flavorsee recipe note
2 cups granulated sugar
To make Gin and Tonic
Lime wedgesas garnish
Tonic Water concentrate
Stir citrus zest and sugar together in a small bowl. Store covered overnight in the fridge for flavors to soak in.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, cinchona bark, gentian root, citric acid, lemongrass, and optional add-ins. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to a low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in citrus infused sugar; allow to cool completely. Transfer to a sealed jar and store in fridge overnight.
Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer into another jar or container. Discard all dry ingredients. Store sealed in fridge one or two more days to allow sediment to accumulate at the bottom.
Carefully pour off the clearer liquid into a larger container and discard sediment. Combine with simple syrup.
To make simple syrup
Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir often until melted. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in simple syrup. Use more or less to create desired sweetness (add about 2-3 cups of simple syrup).
To serve gin and tonics
In a cocktail glass filled halfway with ice, stir together 1-½ ounces tonic syrup with 1-½ ounces of gin. Lightly stir in 3 ounces of chilled club soda and serve garnished with a lime wedge.
The recipe makes 96 ounces of tonic water (concentrate mixed with club soda at a 1-2 ratio), not including alcohol. Adjust serving size as desired.
While zesting all the citrus takes some time, it's critical for flavor. Do not substitute with citrus juice as it will be too tart and the flavors will not be correct.
Flavor add-ins: Try adding 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of some of the following items: lavender buds, star anise, juniper berries, allspice berries, or cardamom.
Store tonic water concentrate (without soda water) in the fridge up to a month or freeze for later use.
You can use store-bought simple syrup if you prefer.
When serving, use the desired amount of tonic water, gin and club soda to reach preferred flavor and cocktail strength. I've provided a recommendation, but this can be adjusted.