Cocktails: my latest toy.

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Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Hoke » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:19 pm

Ran into this at a trade tasting, and fell in love with it immediately. Kina Tonic.

All the bells and whistles that appeal to me:

First, it tastes damn good. With Tito's Vodka, makes the best damn vodka and tonic I've ever had (sez the guy who overall doesn't pay that much attention to vodka.) Killer gin and tonic and rum and tonic also, as I found out.

It's small batch, made by a distiller, and harkens back to the original tonic water/tonic syrup concentrate in days of yore, before carbonation and the eventual emasculation of tonic resulting in today's Schweppes/Canada Dry pallid substitutes for the real thing. Brad uses both Peruvian and Indian cinchona bark, chunks rather than powders, then marinates with other botanicals (cinnamon, orange oil, cane sugar, etc.) to get great flavor components, and bottles one batch at a time.

Here's the article I wrote about it on: http://www.examiner.com/article/recreating-a-classic-for-the-bar-kina-tonic

It's available at retail, but just a few places right now. But it's also available on Amazon and other places via the internet, so it should be easily attainable.
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby wnissen » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:03 pm

Hoke, that looks like some really good stuff. I never understood why tonic water was sold fully carbonated, when all other bitters were in concentrate. Can you imagine if you had to buy pre-mixed Campari and soda?

I put it on my Christmas wish list.

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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:28 pm

My pal Nilo and I experimented with making our own tonic a while back. It was interesting and we ended up with a pretty decent product. In the end, I decided that there's enough good tonic out there and I drink it seldom enough that it wasn't worth making it myself.

I'll keep an eye out for the Kina. Always good to have another high quality option!

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Timo Olavi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:33 pm

nice! i was looking for something like that a while back, but in my neck of woods it's pretty hopeless. now to find out if i can get it from somewhere on the internet without getting killed by shipping costs.

my two favourite additions of late to my meager and very amateur cocktailage have been citrus rind extracts and (liquid) whey. that twist of lemon just didn't do it for me, so i zested a few lemons into a pan, heated some vodka to nearly boiling in another pan and poured it into the zest pan through the microplane zester to get all those delicious essential oils in. infused for 25 minutes and then sieved it, pressing on the solids. incredibly fragrant with minimal bitterness due to the short length of the infusion.

and whey just adds a funky tanginess without any sweetness. the only problem i had was getting clear whey. most recipes call for letting raw milk, buttermilk, yoghurt, etc separate slowly in room temperature. i tried with buttermilk and raw milk but no matter how well i sieved i'd always get hazy, opaque whey. then i turned to my cooking knowledge and used the freeze-thaw cycle like you can with gelatin-rich stocks to make consomme. i froze some buttermilk and then let it thaw through a sieve lined with cheesecloth in the fridge. voila, beautiful clear whey. and as an added bonus, when using buttermilk and not heating it, you get whey with live lactic acid bacteria cultures.. probiotic cocktails! :D
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:49 pm

I haven't seen Kina syrup around but I just bought a bottle of John's Premium Tonic Syrup made here in PHX.

Haven't not yet tried in a cocktail but the syrup on its own is very citrus forward with a goodly dose of quinine. The level of citrus makes me think it might pair best with a Western-styled gin vs London dry. G&T's coming soon.
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby James Dietz » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:06 pm

My Kina Tonic is on its way!
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:51 pm

Lill was given a bottle of Bradley's Kina Tonic at AZ Cocktail Week and we just broke it open last weekend.

Plymouth gin, Kina Tonic, soda...one of the best G&Ts I've had.

The tonic on its own is quite delicious. Cinchona bitters is certainly on the forefront but not overpowering. The citrus and botanical combo that Brad uses is truly wonderful. Layered citrus, complex spice, delightful bitterness all marry so well with a London dry.
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby James Dietz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:53 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:Lill was given a bottle of Bradley's Kina Tonic at AZ Cocktail Week and we just broke it open last weekend.

Plymouth gin, Kina Tonic, soda...one of the best G&Ts I've had.

The tonic on its own is quite delicious. Cinchona bitters is certainly on the forefront but not overpowering. The citrus and botanical combo that Brad uses is truly wonderful. Layered citrus, complex spice, delightful bitterness all marry so well with a London dry.


I like the Bradley's, too. Way better than using regular tonic water, though I do use less than suggested to cut back on the sweetness.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Cocktails: my latest toy.

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:56 pm

Good call! I only tried the suggested recipe to start but ya, cutting back a wee bit might be just right.
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