- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup powdered cinchona bark
- 1 cup chopped lemongrass stalks
- 1/4 cup citric acid powder
- Zest of 1 orange
- About 3 cups simple syrup (1:1 white sugar-to-water)
Combine first five ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out solids. The first time I did this, I filtered through cheesecloth, then coffee filters. It was a little time-intensive, but it worked just fine. After that, I ordered a Buchner filter kit, which has a hand pump that sucks the air out of a beaker, pulling the liquid down through the filter above. There wasn’t a huge difference in quality between the two results, so if you are casually making this at home, the simpler tools should suffice. In either case, filtration goes faster if you leave out the sweetener at this stage.
Once your mixture is cooled and filtered, measure its volume. You will want to add 3/4 cup sweetener for every 1 cup of tonic liquid. Heat the tonic liquid gently on the stovetop and stir in your simple syrup. Add the sweetener slowly and stir to combine. Remove from heat and cool. Store your syrup in your refrigerator in a clean, air-tight vessel.
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