Tag Archives: beverages

Tonic water

This tonic is an alternative to sickly-sweet standards such as Canada Dry and Schweppes. Don’t be alarmed: The syrup created here will be brown. Todd Thrasher suggests using sodium-free sparkling water.
For a gin and tonic, combine 5 ounces of tonic water with 1 1/2 ounces of gin in a highball glass filled with ice; garnish with a lime wedge.
Quinine powder, a bitter substance made from the bark of the cinchona tree, can be obtained from several online sources, including www.rain-tree.com and www.herbspro.com.
Citric acid, a powder commonly used for canning, can be ordered online from www.herbalremedies.com or www.barryfarm.com.
La Cuisine in Alexandria says it can special-order both ingredients; call 703-836-4435.

Makes 25 ounces tonic water and additional tonic syrup


  • 3 cups water
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon quinine powder
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 20 ounces sparkling water, chilled


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lemon grass, sugar, quinine powder, citric acid and lime juice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the mixture is syrupy and has reduced by half. Strain the syrup twice — first through a fine-mesh strainer and then through a coffee filter (it will strain very slowly through the filter) — and refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours. Measure out 5 ounces of the cold syrup and add to the sparkling water. (Reserve the remainder of the syrup for a second batch, if desired.) Transfer to a soda siphon and dispense with a CO2 charger. If you do not have a siphon and charger, do not combine the syrup and water until immediately before use.

Best-Ever Hot Cocoa Mix (Cooks)

This hot cocoa mix can be stored in an airtight container for three months. It uses two unusual ingredients: White chocolate chips give the cocoa a soft, creamy texture and escalate the chocolate flavor; and the cornstarch in the confectioners’ sugar (an ingredient manufacturers add to prevent clumping) helps thicken the cocoa.

Makes about 20 servings

  • 3 cups nonfat dry milk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground. To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup mix into 1 cup hot milk. Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.