how to make superior tonic water at home

Originally published Oct 28, 2014

There is one thing that annoys me more than drinking a crappy drink and that is paying for a crappy drink. Last month I was stuck in my Lexington, MA hotel room with no quality cocktail bars within a twenty mile radius. Instead of heading down to the hotel bar to overpay for Miller Light, I drove around to get familiar with the area and to stop at the first liquor store that had a glimpse of hope.

Walking into the store, my gut feelings were validated when looking at the walls of liquor. Standing there, looking at the playing field...there were some decisions to be made. What cocktail could be made without any hardware, citrus or knifes? There were some local gins that were screaming at me, so I decided to go with a Gin and Tonic. While talking to the clerk, he saw my disgust when he pointed to the Schweppes Tonic Water.  

The clerk walked in back and grabbed a bottle of Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup then told me that this bottle would make the best tonic I would ever have. Here is how it works: take your favorite Gin mix Jack Rudy then top with club soda and ice. This syrup works, works better than Q Tonic or Fentimans. You can control exactly how sweet your tonic is, and that control alone is priceless. 

Directly from the label:

  • 2 ounce Gin
  • .75 ounce Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup
  • 4 ounce of club soda

Build in a collins glass, add ice then top with club soda. 

Let's ignore the fact that I was making this cocktail in my hotel room then walking down to the lobby to play a couple rounds of pool while sipping out of a paper coffee to-go cup. Trashy on the outside yet classy on the inside. (available at Whole Foods and Marianos)