Homemade Tonic Water for the Ultimate Gin and Tonic

Note: Penn Herb Co. is a great, and economical, source of Cinchona Bark. For the other ingredients, look in the bulk spice area of your local grocery or health food store. For the bottles, One Kings Lane is a good source. Note: Dry ingredients are listed by weight, liquid ingredients are listed by volume.
Course Drinks
Keyword 4th of July, summer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 96 servings
Calories 26kcal
Author Marissa


  • 3 cups water (675 ml)
  • ¼ cup chopped cinchona bark (1 ounce / 28 grams)
  • ¼ cup citric acid (2.2 ounces / 62 grams)
  • 3 limes peeled zests only (0.4 ounce / 11 grams)
  • 3 lemons peeled zests only (0.5 ounce / 14 grams)
  • 2 oranges peeled zests only (0.5 ounce / 14 grams)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass tops and bottoms trimmed and outer leaves removed then sliced into 1/8" to 1/4" rounds (2.5 ounces / 71 grams)
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 3 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon lavender
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Rich Simple Syrup

  • 3 cups natural cane sugar (21 ounces / 600 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (355 ml)

You'll also need:

  • Lime wedges
  • Sparkling water


  • Combine all ingredients except rich simple syrup in a sterilized, one-quart lidded glass jar. Shake to combine. Refrigerate 72 hours, shaking occasionally, at least once per day.
  • Make rich simple syrup: dissolve 3 cups sugar in 1 1/2 cups water over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. Transfer to a container and refrigerate.
  • After 72 hours, strain tonic mixture into a large glass pitcher. Strain tonic a second time, using a coffee filter or very fine cheesecloth.
  • Whisk simple syrup into tonic until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour tonic syrup through a funnel into storage bottles and store in the refrigerator.

For the Ultimate Gin & Tonic

  • Fill a highball glass with ice. Add 1 tablespoon tonic syrup, 2 ounces gin, and 2 ounces sparkling water. Stir to combine. Serve with a lime wedge (about 1/6 of a fresh lime). To drink: squeeze the lime wedge into the drink, then drop it in. Enjoy!



Carefully wash citrus fruits and lemongrass before zesting / chopping.


Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg