Tuesday, March 27, 2012

yet ANOTHER thing to make from scratch

*Sigh* ....  Now that the weather is warming up, the subject of WHAT TO DRINK shifts gears.  Coffee, tea, wine and bouillon served very well in the mild winter we just had, while i was doing nothing to dehydrate myself very much.  Yesterday and the day before i did a little light yard work, and thirst raised its first hydra head (pun intended).

A very dilute gin and tonic sounded AND tasted good (after i invoked the 80/20 rule and decided to indulge myself).  Later on, my stomach wasn't as happy as my tastebuds, and i don't think there can be much doubt about the cause.  Tonic is such a simple substance in theory, but let a beverage manufacturer play with the formula and they manage to trade an X for the N, and it becomes ... toxic.

I don't want their bloody fructose, be its source sucrose, HFCS, agave or whatever.  And DAMNED if i want aspartame, which many of the artificially-sweetened tonics contain.  I've never seen one made with sucralose alone, or with stevia ... and it's those i tolerate best.  We compromise with saccharine-sweetened brands, but something in there is far from supportive of THIS body's processes.

Therefore, i hunted down a recipe for home-made tonic, and ordered myself a bunch of cinchona bark with which to concoct it.  Since the recipe calls for the juice and zest of three different citrus fruits, i'll try using it without any more sweetening than that, and add a little dextrose as needed.  Wish me luck!


  1. Good for you!

    My husband likes tonic water, and it kills me that I can't find a natural one. I finally just had to let it go. One day maybe I'll borrow a leaf from your book a make some from scratch.

  2. there are some "artisan" tonics out there, and if he doesn't mind sugar, your husband may like them. my thing is, i try to avoid sugar as much as possible.... add this to mayonnaise and salad dressing and gingerbeer and tortillas and corned beef, and all the other staples that COULD be made in an innocent fashion but aren't. frustrating ... and a lot more work!

  3. FYI, it doesn't have the same balance of quinine and sweetness as most commercial tonic water I've tried, but there is a tonic concentrate made with Splenda: http://www.amazon.com/Sodatream-Diet-Tonic-Sodamix-Syrup/dp/B0049QFZZG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    It might not be ideal, but perhaps of interest.

  4. hi, James! yes, i may be asking for a sodastream for christmas, now that they're using sucralose. my son has one, and he loves it.

    i'm still eager to see what "the original" quinine water was like -- reenactors are funny that way! ;-)