Make My Own Tonic Water

re-post from

The recipe for making tonic water at calls for Cinchona powder. However, reading the blogs at that site, I see everyone is talking about all the trouble filtering out the Cinchona powder.

We at Herbal Advantage sell Cinchona Powder, but we also sell Cinchona Cut. This is so much easier to filter out using a standard coffee filter. You might notice that Herbal Advantage also sells Citric Acid, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Orange peel, Lemon Grass, and many other herbs and spices that will make wonderful flavored drinks. Please keep in mind that the more herbs and spices used the more color you will have in the final liquid. Some believe that color and bitterness are related but they are not. The color particle is usually the larger size particle and easier to filter out. Not with a coffee filter, but removing the color from a liquid takes a mechanical filtration system. The bitterness is from the Cinchona and may be reduced by using less of it.

How to make Tonic Water: Add only the herbs and spices to the water and boil for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the stove, cover and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour. After steeping, very carefully remove the lid and without stirring, pour through a coffee filter slowly. This may take several coffee filters to complete. When the filtration is complete add the citric acid and syrup. The longer you boil the herbs the easier it is to burn them therefor I suggest that you do a slow gentle boil for 10 minutes and then steep 30 minutes to an hour.

Update 02-09-2016: Many ask “How do others filter the Cinchona out”

From all my customers that I have talked with I find there is no “best” way to filter but here is what some are doing.
  • Leave the Cinchona powder in the tonic. It adds body.
  • Use Cinchona Bark Cut then a kitchen sieve.
  • Use Cinchona Bark Powder, boil it than let it steep for an hour or longer. Vary carefully, without string, pour through a coffee filter, when the first filter clogs try another, then pitch the balance.
  • Filter with cheese cloth or a course muslin in place of the finer coffee filter.
  • I find the cheaper “store brand” or Always Save coffee filters work better for this than Mr. Coffee filters.