I needed a distraction this evening; my grandfather passed away this morning and I didn’t really want to think about it any longer.
- 4 cups water
- Zest and juice of orange
- Zest and juice of lemon
- Zest and juice of lime
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 2 white cardamom pods
- 2 juniper berries
- Heaping 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cinchona bark
- 1/4 cup diced fresh lemongrass
Again, following their directions, this was my procedure:
Bring to boil all ingredients above, simmer 20 minutes thereafter, strain; mix with agave syrup in 3:2 ratio with a cup of seltzer water before use. I topped it off with a healthy double of Bombay Sapphire, and that made for a tall gin and tonic of good quality.
I ordered my bark from Tenzing Momo; I found it similarly shady as the linked articles, yet the product did arrive. I couldn’t find citric acid yet, so I made the batch without, though I think I’ll add it next time.
The biggest problem I ran into was straining; trying to run through coffee filters just caused the coffee filters to cake up after a few drops passed through; I ended up wasting more than half the batch to wet filters, I’m guessing. I need to figure out a better way to filter it; perhaps I need to do some initial rough passes with cheesecloth and a strainer before attempting to pass things through the coffee filters. Whatever the case, I need to find a better method for filtering the fluid. I did use a french press for the initial separation, and this did a good job of punting a couple of inches of bark sludge to the bottom, but the liquid was still full of gunk; perhaps I needed to let it sit longer before attempting to filter… Who knows.
I wonder if I have any chemist friends who know how best to filter sludge into a relatively particulate-free liquid with minimal fluid loss…
The end product is pretty nice; far more complex and yet more mild than commercial tonic water, and loads less syrupy and sweet (bonus). Combined with gin, it makes for a very interesting drink with depth that can’t be had in the normal gin and tonic, suitable for the more interesting premium gins made these days.