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No-Quinine Tonic Water

Servings: 2 cups


  • 3 cups filtered water divided
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 3 lemongrass stalks chopped (use the bottom 2/3 of the stalks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid this acts as a preservative
  • 1/4 cup dandelion root
  • 2 cloves star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Pour 2 cups of water into a medium-size, nonreactive saucepan. Using a vegetable peeler, add zest from the grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. Halve and juice the citrus fruits; add juice to saucepan. Add lemongrass, citric acid, dandelion root, all spices, and salt to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, leaving lid slightly askew, and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Pour into a large, nonreactive container, such as a Mason jar, and chill for 2 days in the refrigerator, shaking it gently a couple of times a day.
  • Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer and discard peel and spices. While mixture is straining, make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan; heat and stir until sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Add simple syrup to strained tonic. Store in the refrigerator.