Make Your Own Tonic Water

The last time we visited Portland, Oregon, every bar seemed to be taking the idea of DIY to the extreme. Case in point: Daniel Shoemaker’s Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, where Shoemaker makes his own vermouth, rows of different bitters, and even a version of Amer Picon, a French apéritif. The biggest eye-opener was a bottle of his homemade tonic water. It was an orangy-brown color and tasted like spices and orange peel, with a pleasant bitterness from quinine. He was kind enough to share his recipe. Originally, it was scaled up for commercial use, making around 80 cups of the stuff, which Shoemaker bottles, adds champagne yeast to, and naturally carbonates for his bar. For home use, we simplified it by making an infused syrup that you dilute with carbonated water to turn it into tonic water.

Here’s how to make it.

Drink it in our Spiced Gin and Tonic.

Roxanne Webber is a former editor at CHOW.
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