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How to Make Tonic Water

Why spend money on store-bought tonic water when you can have fun at home doing it yourself for a fraction of the cost?


  • Step 1: Combine ingredients Put all of the ingredients except the sugar in the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Step 2: Simmer Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • TIP: Spice to your taste with allspice berries, salt, coriander, orange peel, bitters, and lemons or limes.
  • Step 3: Strain Remove the mixture from the heat and strain out all the solids with a fine strainer.
  • Step 4: Repeat straining Strain the mixture again, this time through a coffee filter.
  • Step 5: Add sugar Put the strained mixture back into the pan, bring it to a simmer, and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Step 6: Refrigerate Pour the syrup into a bottle or container that can be tightly sealed and refrigerate.
  • Step 7: Add syrup and serve Add syrup to soda water to taste. Serve over ice, or use in cocktails.
  • FACT: Cinchona bark contains quinine, which for centuries was the most common anti-malarial remedy in the world.

You Will Need

  • 4 c. water
  • 3 tbsp. cinchona
  • 6 tbsp. citric acid
  • 3 limes
  • 3 stalks of chopped lemongrass
  • 3 c. sugar
  • A bottle or container
  • Soda water
  • Large saucepan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Strainer
  • Coffee filter
  • Allspice berries (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Orange peel (optional)
  • Bitters (optional)
  • Lemons or limes (optional)

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