Tonic Water Concentrate

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4 cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped lemongrass (~4 stalks)
3/4-1 ounce cinchona bark (see note above)
12 caradamom pods, bruised
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup citric acid
1/4 tsp coarse salt
3 cups sugar


Toss all ingredients except the sugar in a pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat until it just maintains a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Let cool, and pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer (you can also pour through a coffee filter if you like, depending on how much sediment remains and how clear you like your beverages). Place back on the stove, and add the sugar and an additional 1 cup water. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if needed (note: this is difficult to taste on its own, so you might need to pour a bit into some soda water to get a good read on the finished product). Pour into jars and chill.

To serve: Pour an icy glass of soda water, and stir in enough tonic concentrate to suit your taste (this is generally just a few tablespoons). Gin and lime optional, though highly recommended.