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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Following on the heels of my first attempt to make tonic water, I decided to try again. This time, the ingredients looked like this, new ingredients italic, other things adjusted slightly.

  • 4 cups water
  • Zest and juice or orange, lemon, and lime
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries (heaping)
  • 2 “petals” of a star anise
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 white cardamom pods
  • 1/3 turkish bay leaf
  • 2 juniper berries, crushed
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1 cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cinchona bark, heaping
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

I did french press for first filtration, then through a gold permanent coffee filter for second stage, both passed easily; I’ll probably last-stage filter through a paper filter before serving in most cases. Otherwise, preparation and post-mix is the same.

With the citric acid and substantially increased lemongrass, I’m noticing a flavor more familiar than the first batch; it has a lot more citrus flavors, and a lot less herbyness. Initial taste of the mixed drink is like a normal gin and tonic, but less cloying. The flavor develops in the mouth, however, and the finish is interesting, lingering for quite a while. I think it’s an improvement, but I also think I’ll knock down the citric acid to 1/’8 cup next time to cut the edge a bit.