Anyone who has spent any significant amount time in Root & Flower has more then likely experienced the phenomenon of our tonic. For those who haven’t this is generally how the scenario goes, New Customer; ” I want a refreshing, insanely delicious cocktail” Us;” Say no more, we got ya,” New Customer; ” Oh..My..God! What is this? its sooo %&$!@ good!!,” Us; It’s a gin & tonic (or vodka & tonic or tequila & tonic). New Customer; “But I hate tonic.”
Yes we all know what tonic is, and for the most part I find people’s opinions about it very polarizing. Those who hate it are usually only familiar with the high fructose chemical swill that you can find on the gun at any run of the mill establishment. Those who love it usually are familiar with higher quality commercial brands like Fever Tree, or have experienced it at a bar in a thoughtful craft form like those found in Spain. However I find most people don’t really understand what actually defines tonic. By definition a tonic is just something that makes you feel better, but to define it in its traditional sense we need to go back in history a bit.
The genesis of tonic can be found in the 1600’s in Peru with the bark of the native cinchona tree and its malaria preventing active ingredient extracted from that bark, quinine. Quinine is the bitter flavor that makes tonic, tonic. Its journey from Peru, to its wide spread use among the British empire, to its first commercial production in 1858 is a fascinating story, but history lesson for another day.
There does seem to be a general consensus to the basic foundation of tonic and that is bitter (quinine of course), sweet ( some form of sugar), sour (some form of acid) and carbonated water. That’s where most tonics stop and that is the formula that most people are familiar with. However you don’t have to stop at that, and like a good gin the secret to a good tonic is a well crafted foundation accented by well thought out botanicals. That in short (combined with solid bartending) is why our tonic drinks are so damn good.
So a disclosure, when I say “our” tonic it is true they are homemade, but not by us. Our “citrus” and “floral” tonic has been thoughtful crafted in a unique way from the aesthetic color to the perfect balance of additional botanicals by our friends at Lost Identity Beverage Co. We look forward to the continued success of their business.