Sin-Kō-Nah Tonic Syrup

Sin-Kō-Nah Tonic Syrup will be new to Handmade on 18 & 19 March, but is causing a storm throughout Australia and New Zealand with its original tonic, made the way it used to be in Colonial India. Served as a deliciously bitter soft drink with sparkling water or splashed over gin, this is going to be a necessary addition to your drinks cabinet. We asked them to tell us more.

Tell us about your business
We make tonic syrup, the flavour of tonic water, using the bark of the cinchona tree. This is the way tonic was originally made, back in the 1800s. Cinchona is the ingredient that defines tonic water, the source of its bitter flavour and has medicinal benefits as an anti-malarial, muscle relaxant, blood cleanser and more.

The syrup has one third less sugar than commercial tonic water when made to our recommended dilution ratio. Customers mix the syrup at home with sparkling water, and can adjust it to taste. Its a more sustainable option – large bottles of tonic often go flat before people can drink them all and are thrown away; smaller individual pre-mixed bottles are one-use only packaging. The syrup is also more versatile, and can be used in mocktails, cocktails, desserts, as a dressing or glaze. It has a one year shelf life.

We make the syrup in a commercial kitchen we hire, in small batches. The process takes several hours, as it must be cooked for a long time at low heat. We use local citrus, purchased from farmers’ markets, when in season.

What made you apply to Handmade?
We applied to Handmade Canberra because we love meeting customers face to face and explaining what tonic syrup is! Also a couple of friends who have attended as stallholders told us how fabulous it is, as have members of the general public who have been visiting Melbourne and seen us at other shows.

Have you got a tonic-based recipe to share with us?
Here’s a mocktail recipe by Hayden Lambert from Above Board in Collingwood

1 egg white
3 x cloves
1 dash of angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
150ml fresh orange juice
30-35mls sin-kō-nah tonic syrup
Shake over ice and serve straight, or over ice for a subtle and refreshing beverage.
Can be served hot without egg white, but with egg yolk.



Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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