I made a batch of tonic water syrup a couple of years ago and, though it was a success, there were a couple of things I found slightly off-putting in the result. Specifically:
- I didn't really like the all-spice.
- I didn't really like the lemongrass
- I thought there was too much citric acid.
So I tried another batch of tonic water this year with no all-spice or lemongrass, and a bit less citric acid. I also simplified the recipe somewhat, using plain sugar instead of agave syrup and omitting the citrus juice (though keeping the zest).
Here's the one I ended up using (the bark is still from Herboristerie Desjardins):
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped quinquina bark
- zest of 1 orange
- zest of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp citric acid
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3-4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you like your tonic water
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain out solids using a strainer. A cheese cloth here will strain out the really small bits but I've had success with a simple metal fine mesh strainer.
Put the strained mixture back into the saucepan, heat it slowly back up and mix in the sugar, stirring until it all dissolves.
The result is simpler to make and, in my opinion, better than the previous batch. I think it pairs better with a good gin since there's less in the tonic water to compete with the spirit.