What makes a tonic? A classic tonic water is defined as a solution simply containing quinine. But we ask the question; at what concentration of quinine does it become tonic? Our answer is that as long as there is a discernible bitter element to the solution, it’s still tonic.
We were specfically trying to pair a tonic to Bluecoat Gin from Pennsylvania. We decided floral tonic would complement beautifully, but the floral flavors would be lost at too high a concentration of quinine. So we scaled it back. A lot.
We took dried lavender, rosebuds, juniper berries, fresh orange zest, and cinchona bark (the quinine element). All the ingredients were vacuum sealed and cooked at 190F sousvide (our usual tonic method) for thirty minutes. What resulted was a beautifully aromatic tonic with a slight bitter note that paired perfectly with out target gin.