Sure, you can go to almost any store and buy tonic water.  That version has some flavor, but also filled with many not so good ingredients and doesn’t live up to its full potential of aromas and flavors that a homemade tonic water can deliver.

My version of tonic water will make a classic G&T into a botanical wonderland, filled with layers of citrus, spices and flavors that will enhance the gin’s botanical essence.  This version of tonic water is made with real spices, barks and herbs, the color will not be clear, but a reddish hue, making it stand out in a glass!

 Concept: To make a more unique and flavorful tonic water.

With my palate and how many brews have flowed over it, I know I love bitter.  This goes with both food and with beverages.  This tonic explores other forms of bitter and how we enjoy them.

When researching tonic water, I was surprised what I found.  Looking through some cocktail books I have, a few recipes were talked about, with more of the same being found on the internet.  Many versions talk about adding all the spices and citrus zest to a jar and letting the flavors infuse for several days in the refrigerator.  This ‘infusion’ method would re-hydrate the spices, while letting the zests surface area work to letting some of their essential oils leach out into water (being cold).  Then the mixture is added to a pot and left to boil to make a tea.  While this will work, but how well?!?!

When thinking on how to best extract the essential oils out of the citrus and spices | herbs | bark, I first thought a vacuum sealed bag with water, to make a tea would be the a better option.  Using pressure to aide in the expelling of oils into water to add in flavor and aroma for the final tonic seemed like a good idea.  After a test batch, it did speed up the infusion process, creating more flavor than a cold infusion after several days (the vacuum bags were left for a day in the refrigerator).  Yet I wasn’t happy with the flavor of either approach to getting as much flavor, without the increased bitterness/astringency that adding more spices/herbs/bark would do.  Then it came to me, use a pressure cooker.

When using a pressure cooker for making stock, surface area is a key element, to press the marrow out of the bones, all the flavor and aroma from the mirepoix (French term for carrots, celery and onions), it creates a superior stock, in a much faster time period.  So why not use this technique on tonic water, to use pressure to press and expel all the flavors and aromas from all the ingredients into water, making a concentrate that can be jarred and later diluted and carbonated to make incredible tonic water.  Whether it is for a single cocktail or to make a large batch for a party, this recipe will create a very flavorful tonic water.  When mixed with gin, depending on the manufacturer, the botanical component will be expressed differently.  Try hosting a gin bar, having multiple types and styles of gin to choose from and mix into this tonic water, seeing what people like and love!  Then rethink the slice of lime garnish.  Sure this will bring out more acid from the citrus, yet there are lots of other options to enhance this cocktail, both in flavor and elegance.  Why not offer lemongrass sticks, or citrus leaves, maybe a cinnamon stick, or star anise pod… Maybe herbs would be a better choice with rosemary sprigs or tarragon leaves breaching the cocktails surface?  See what works and share your comments below.

This Tonic Water will make a classic Home Brew Chef’s Gin & Tonic into a botanical wonderland, filled with layers of citrus, spices and flavors that will enhance the gin’s essence. 

 

Special Equipment:

1        each             Fagor Duo 10-Quart Pressure Cooker

Home Brew Chef Tonic Water
Tonic Water Concentrate
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This version of tonic water is made with real spices, barks and herbs, the color will not be clear, but a reddish hue, making it stand out in a glass! 
Servings Prep Time
6 quarts concentrate 20 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minute 20 minute
Servings Prep Time
6 quarts concentrate 20 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minute 20 minute
Home Brew Chef Tonic Water
Tonic Water Concentrate
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This version of tonic water is made with real spices, barks and herbs, the color will not be clear, but a reddish hue, making it stand out in a glass! 
Servings Prep Time
6 quarts concentrate 20 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minute 20 minute
Servings Prep Time
6 quarts concentrate 20 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minute 20 minute
Ingredients
Servings: quarts concentrate
Units:
Instructions
Tonic Water Concentrate Directions:
  • In a pot of a pressure cooker, add the cinchona bark, citric acid powder, lemongrass (using a slicer attachment on a food processor will make quick work of slicing all the lemongrass), lime zest, orange zest, lemon zest, grapefruit zest, lemon verbena leaves, kaffir (makrut) lime leaves, allspice berries, green cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, fresh turmeric, salt, coriander seeds, grains of paradise, mixed peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns, onion seeds, fennel seeds and lavender. This is the base of all the flavor that will infuse, marry and become the foundation of this tonic and for many a cocktail. Add the honey, followed by the water. On the inside of the pressure cooker, there is a fill level mark you do not want to add more water than that level. If not all the water is added, it is ok. Save the remaining water.
  • Place the lid over the pressure cooker and seal it, locking it into place. Set the cooker to #2 setting or high and place over high heat. Once the pressure cooker comes to temperature and the steam is whistling, set a timer for 25 minutes. Adjust the heat to low, making sure the whistle stays. Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker cool down slowly (it will continue to cook) until the safety popup valve drops. This can take about 20 – 30 minutes. When it is safe, open the pressure cooker and take in the aroma. It’s intense! Strain the tonic into a separate pot, removing all the spices/herbs/barks. To get a clearer tonic, repeat this process using a paper towel to line the strainer and strain into a clean pot. At this point, the tonic can be cooled and used or be canned and saved for a later use.
Canning Instructions:
  • To can the tonic water concentrate, fill clean canning jars, either 12 pint or 6 quart size jars and seal with a new lid that has been placed quickly boiled in water. Place the filled jars into a cleaned pressure cooker and add enough water to come up about half the side of the jars. Seal and set the cooker to #1 or low. Place the pressure cooker over high heat until it begins to whistle and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the cooker cool. Once safe to open, remove the jars and allow to cool to room temperature. Each jar should pop and the lid sucked to the rim of the jar and seal. This can be tested by inspecting each lid. The lid should be concave and be snug to the rim. The jars can be dried, labeled and stored in your dark pantry for at least a year.
How To Use The Tonic Water Concentrate Directions:
  • To make a single serving: Take a teaspoon to a tablespoon (3 teaspoons) and add to a glass. Add carbonated water or seltzer water, sparkling mineral water or club soda until you get the flavor you like. I add about ½ a cup, as I like it stronger.
  • Another way to make use the Tonic Water Concentrate to to do a 8:1 ratio, 8 parts water to 1 part Tonic Water Concentrate, to make your tonic water. Place this in a container (Keg | Soda Siphon) and force carbonate and chill overnight.
  • To make a soda bottle worth (1 litre): Add ½ a cup of Tonic Water Concentrate to a soda bottle, such as an iSi Stainless Steel 1 Quart Soda Siphon Bottle and add cold filtered water until the fill line is reached. Seal the bottle and use a CO2 charger, shaking to infuse it into the contents. Place this bottle into the refrigerator for 24 hours and the tonic is ready to use.
  • To make a large batch (5 gallon): Add 2 – 3 quarts of the Tonic Water Concentrate to a sanitized 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Keg. Add enough cold filtered water to fill the keg. Seal the keg and hook it up to a CO2 tank with the fitting being set for the ‘out’ size or black color connector. Set the regulator to 30 PSI and connect to the kegs out barb. Shake and rock the keg back and forth for a good 5 minutes, listening to the gas slowly fill the keg, gurgling and bubbling with each shake. Disconnect the gas and place the labeled keg into your kegerator or cold storage. The Tonic Water will be ready in 2 – 3 days, depending on the temperature of your cold storage. The colder, the fast the CO2 will go into suspension.
(Visited 251 times, 1 visits today)