Gin lovers will appreciate the difference that a good tonic can bring to the overall taste and enjoyment of a traditional G&T. There are a number of very good brands of tonic water but plenty that let the side down, so when you’ve paid out for a quality craft gin it’s important to splash out on a good tonic too! New to the scene are tonic syrups and they are a barman’s dream. Very popular in the US, the beauty of tonic syrups is their taste, versatility, mixability and compatibility.
Quinine is the main constituent in tonic water and comes from the bark of the South American cinchona tree. Most standard tonic waters however use quinine extract as the main ingredient but there is a distinct difference between using the extract over the real McCoy which is the cinchona bark itself, the latter used by tonic syrup producers.
In tonic syrups the base of real quinine is complimented with natural flavours and these can vary considerably from botanicals to popular fruits, herbs and spices. Using tonic syrup adds a big punch of flavour which is why mixologists just love using them in cocktails. And they allow the user to have complete control over flavours without any dilution from the added water you get using traditional Indian tonic, another reason why they are proving so popular.
The bitterness of quinine in a tonic syrup works brilliantly in a Negroni, but Jeffrey's Not So Plain tonic syrup makes this extra special
2 measures gin - Gordon's works well
2 measures Jeffrey's Not So Plain Tonic Syrup
2 measures Aperol (widely available from the supermarket)
A squeeze of lemon
A slice of lemon