Tonic Syrups From Jeffrey's Tonics of Chester
It isn’t just food I’m partial to, I like drinking too - and not always alcoholic tipples, although I am partial to those on occasion :) By a stroke of good fortune, I met the lovely Mike and Mo at Fine Food Show North, and they are the brains behind Jeffrey’s Tonics. Sometimes the best ideas come about purely by chance, and this was the case with Mike.
What started out with a book on Gins and some recipes for tonic syrups soon developed into a quest to produce their own versions. Family and friends were their proverbial guinea pigs, as is often the case, and over time they developed a range of recipes that worked brilliantly well with or without alcohol.
The key to great produce is to use quality ingredients, so Jeffrey’s Tonics only use natural herbs and spices and organic Sicilian Lemon or Lime juice. I tried the (not so) plain tonic first and this was delicious just as it was, but I imagine it would be super with Gin and ice too :) At the show I also tried the original recipe, which was nicely spiced; apparently it goes fantastically well with Whisky and Ginger for a different take on a Whisky Mac.
After a busy week, the Chick had once again deserted us, so The Man Bird and I decided we were going to be lazy and order in Chinese food. To herald the start of the weekend we also had a cheeky Gin and Tonic using the Lime, Galangal, and Orange tonic syrup; all you do is use one part tonic syrup to five parts soda water to make a delicious tonic water - easy peasy. This particular tonic syrup went incredibly well with the food, due in no small part I assume to the Indonesian/Oriental Galangal and Lime elements. Whatever, it was superb and slipped down very easy :)
The weather decided to play nicely i.e. not rain, so we took full advantage of the situation and got stuck in to some garden maintenance. Hard work soon gets you working up a thirst, and what better time to indulge in another G&T? This time it was the turn of the Yarrow, Rosehip, and Elderflower tonic syrup to take centre stage.
I love the delicate floral notes of Elderflower anyway, my granddad used them to make a lovely wine back in the day :) Yarrow is a gentle herb that isn’t commonly used anymore, but in this blend it goes very nicely; rosehip is warming and bright, but light as well. This syrup was gorgeously fragrant on the palate, and although we had it with Gin I think it would be a marvellous summer treat with Prosecco.
For dinner I had cooked a Pork Belly marinated in Oak Smoked Apple Butter from The Sweet Beet (another company I met at the food show!) and thought the Original Tonic would be robust enough to stand its ground with this meal. Turns out I was right! :) Having had this all on its tod at the show, I decided to have it with Gin at the nest; the spicy notes really came alive, and it made an excellent evening tipple.
Jeffrey’s Tonics believe that tonics should be good enough to savour as a standalone drink, and their efforts have certainly achieved this aim :)