results for tonic

Gin & Homemade Tonic


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Although it’s not really G&T season for the rest of the States, down here in Florida, the weather is still nice enough to call for a good old gin and tonic in the evening on the back porch. For an extra tasty G&T, one calls for homemade tonic.

Quinine is the ingredient in tonic that has made it a sought-after drink now for centuries. It comes from the bark of the cinchona tree, grown in South America, and was found to be an early cure for malaria. (For a good account of the importance and value of cinchona bark, I’d recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s beautiful new historical fiction: The Signature of All Things. She delves into the early European cultivation of the crop in her novel. And is a fantastic writer to boot.) Fortunately nowadays, one only has to click a button on a computer to have cinchona bark delivered to your doorstep instead of traveling across the ocean by boat.

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We used our lemons, limes, oranges, and lemongrass for this recipe.

Ingredients for the tonic:

4 c water
1 c chopped lemongrass
1/4 c powdered cinchona bark (you can get it online at herbal stores)
Zest and juice of one orange
Zest and juice of one lemon
Zest and juice of one lime
1/4 c citric acid (I got this at Walmart in the canning section)
1 t whole allspice berries
1/4 t Kosher salt


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once cool, the mixture will be thick. Some recipes say you can filter with a coffee filter; we’ve never had luck with that. We rigged up our own system to filter the tonic.

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If you cut off the bottom of a 2 liter pop bottle, it will act as a funnel to filter the precipitants (we used a wine bottle here–WAY too difficult to cut glass. Don’t try it. Just use a plastic pop bottle.) We put the cap on, and inverted it in another 2 liter bottle that had the top cut off. We poured in all the tonic mixture, and let it stand overnight. Most of the precipitants will settle. The next day, pour off the liquid on the top into another bottle, and you have your tonic!

To make your gin and tonic, use this recipe:

1 1/2 oz gin
1 oz tonic
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup (to make simple syrup, heat 1 c sugar + 1 c water until it dissolves.)
Top with seltzer water

Add all this to a glass full of ice and use a lime wedge as a garnish. Depending on the tonic, you may have to use a little more simple syrup or a little less lemon juice. You might have to tweak this recipe to your liking. Cheers!

Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic


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Yesterday, a group of seven wonderful ladies gathered to make Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic, a spiced vinegar tonic that is said to be a healing drink used when one feels the onset of the flu or a cold. Now that we’re approaching winter, and those flu bugs are more rampant, this seemed like an appropriate thing to make.

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We all brought one or two ingredients, enough for seven people, our own mason jar and cider vinegar, and we gathered together to make the tonic. We sipped wine, caught up with each other, and chopped ginger, turmeric,  grated oranges, and picked basil and rosemary off their stems.

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Next, we filled mason jars almost to the top with cider vinegar. The vinegar that still has the live mother in it is preferred. We all put spoonfuls of ingredients into the cider vinegar. Once finished, the lid was closed.  In about six weeks, it will be ready.

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Tia, our friend who has deep connections to astrology, lead a prayer to bless the healing drink. She noted that it was made on the night of a solar eclipse, which adds to the power of our drink.

According to the instructions, 1-2 tablespoons can be taken throughout the fall and winter seasons to induce warming, support the digestion, and help the immune system. Knowing that we made this together, and thus it was imbued with love and strength, even if it doesn’t heal the common cold, it just might heal the heart when needed.

Ingredients (From Kiva’s Gilas Harvest Cider recipe):

1/2 to 3/4 c fresh Turmeric (roughly chopped)
1/2 to 3/4 c fresh Ginger (grated or finely chopped)
1 head fresh Garlic (minced)
2-3 T fresh Rosemary (roughly chopped)
1 small handful Sundried Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
2 T coriander
1 small handful dried Hawthorne berries
2 T fresh grated Orange Peel
3/4 c fresh Basil
1 whole Red Chile
approximately 3 c Apple Cider Vinegar
raw honey to taste
1 quart canning jar


Pour about 3 c of cider vinegar in your jar. Add all other ingredients expect honey. When ready to drink, mix 1-2 T tonic to as much honey as you like. After six weeks, it’ll be ready to drink.

Shrimp & Sausage & Grits




To continue celebrating the Libra birthdays, we had our friend Sam over for his. We had for dinner what he requested– sausage and gin and tonics–the two things Sam helped make. We added some frozen shrimp from our plethora now in the freezer and used the chorizo that we made from the boar, and we had a dinner worthy of a birthday celebration.

This recipe was crazy easy to make. If you take out the making-your-own-sausage and catching-your-own-shrimp part, this should only put you back about 15 minutes. I amended it from Emeril Lagasse.


2 T butter
1 T olive oil
3 T flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
S&P 1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 lb chorizo sausage
1 lb uncooked shrimp
3 c chicken broth
1/4 c green onions, chopped

2 c stone ground grits
6 c water
2 T butter


First, dump all your grits ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Once it’s at a boil, bring down to a simmer. Stir every so often but do not take off the heat until you’re ready to serve (otherwise it will form into a gelatinous glob).

To make the sauce, in a saute pan, melt the butter and add the oil. Stir in the flour and cook for 4-6 minutes to make a roux (the roux should look the color of peanut butter when it’s ready). Add the chopped regular onion, pepper, and celery. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Next, add the sausage. (If you use link sausage, chop it up. I used ground in this recipe.) Cook until the sausage is done. Next add the broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then down to a simmer. Add the uncooked shrimp, cover the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and are cooked through. Add this all to a bowl of grits, and garnish with chopped green onions or parsley.

Meyer Lemon Margaritas


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I just love the 4th of July. Friends, fireworks, and freedom all rank high on my list of good things. This holiday was extra special since it was spent with both near and far friends in Amelia Island soaking up the sun and sea.

We indulged in many of our homemade things: our sausage, gin and tonics, pickled jalapenos, alligator and fish tacos, and these Meyer Lemon margs made from the (frozen) juice from our lemons.


{The marsh off the back porch.}

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{Nearby live oaks}

Ingredients (makes one drink):

1 1/2 jigger of tequila
1/2 jigger of Contreau
1 jigger of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (or juice from a regular lemon)
1 jigger of simple syrup (1 c water + 1 c sugar, brought to a boil, then cooled)

Add all ingredients to a glass with ice. Mix well. And toast to good things.

Blueberry Cordials


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What’s a fun celebratory 4th of July drink? Blueberry cordials, of course! However, I’m about a month too late in posting this recipe, for you need at least 4 weeks to make it. But if make your cordials now, by August 4th you can relive the July 4th glory! Invite the neighbors over, pour some cordials in tiny glasses, get out the last box of sparklers, and you’ve got yourself a party.


The last post I did about blueberries showed our pathetic crop. Boo. So I had to supplement with local berries instead.


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This recipe came from Epicurious.


1 c sugar
2 c vodka
3 c blueberries


Wash the berries. Wash a quart mason jar well. Combine all ingredients in the jar. Make sure the lid is on tight and shake well. (The sugar won’t dissolve right away, which is fine. It takes days to do this.) Store in a cool, dark place for at least a month (or more). Once it’s ready, discard the berries. Pour into small glasses and serve as a desert drink or with tonic as a cocktail. Garnish with a strawberry or a wedge of watermelon. Keep it in the freezer where it will last a long time.



Recipes by ingredient

Candied apples | Applesauce | Salmon and dried apple salad

Cream of asparagus soup

Alligator sausage and crawfish casserole | Alligator gumbo | Gator tacos | Fried alligator poppers

Pesto | Drunken noodles | Thai basil chicken stir-fry 

Three bean salad | Green Beans with Olives | Freezing beans | Green beans with bacon | Vegetable beef soup | Steak with long beans and tomato vinaigrette | Long bean, cucumber, and tomato salad | Soy glazed beans | Beans and chicken in coconut curry | Beans with almond pesto | Sweet and sour stirfry with beans

Pickled beet salad | Roasted vegetables with avocado | Beet and goat cheese sandwich

Stir-fry with broccoli | Broccoli salad with miso dressing

Chinese cabbage salad

Chicken and dumplings | Carrot cashew curry | Beef Burgundy with carrots | Roasted carrots | Carrot and chickpea salad | Vegetable soup | Chicken noodle soup with dill | Coq au vin | Curried carrot soup | Pickled dilled carrots | Curried carrot kimchi

Cauliflower gratin | Pecorino Pasta with cauliflower | Roasted vegetables with avocado

Granola with dried cherriesChocolate bark with oranges and cherries | Dried cherry scones

Mustard | Sauerkraut | Yogurt | Apple cider vinegar tonic | Horseradish | Sauerkraut

Salmon with cucumber tzatziki

Fig and olive tapenade | Pizza with fig and olive tapenade | Drunken fig jam | Dehydrated figs | Fig and candied pecan salad | Thin crust pizza with wild yeast | Fig fruit leather | Fig and arugula pizza | Pork chops with fig jam | Fig balsamic vinegar

Fish tacos | Salmon with hoisin glaze | Salmon and crabmeat dressing | Salmon and cream cheese appetizers with dill | Pasta puttanesca with scallops | Salmon cakes with homemade mayonnaise | Fulford style fish | Salmon and sriracha kale on rice | Shrimp and grits | Fish with tomato and peach salsa | Salmon with hollandaise sauce | Flounder with lemon-butter sauce | Sea-trout with kumquats | Grilled snook with tomato salsa | Avocado and green chili puree on fish | Trout with green chilies | Salmon with cucumber tzatziki

Rooftop gardens | Raised garden beds

Palmoa | Green salad with grapefruits and almonds

Collard Greens | Curried chicken salad with lettuce

Rosemary cocktail | Beans and rice with cilantro | Pasta puttanesca with scallops | Turkey meatballs and chickpea salad with parsley | Radish slaw with dill | Salmon and cream cheese appetizers with dill | Indian-spiced pork burgers | Chicken curry with coriander | Red zinger tea | Pesto pizza | Italian chicken stew with rosemary | Spaghetti & spicy pork meatballs with parsley | Chicken noodle soup with dill | Butter chicken with cilantro | Coq au vin | Mexican chicken soup | Shrimp tacos | Chocolate lemongrass mousse | Lemongrass ribs

Kale chips | Kale and mushroom lasagne | Kale salad with candied pecans | Savory kale tart | Salmon and sriracha kale on rice | Kale Pizza | Kale and cranberry salad | Pasta salad with kale | Sourdough stuffing with kale, sausage, and dates | Kale enchiladas | Kale and sausage galette | Kale salad with tahini dressing | Avocado kale salad | Wild boar and kale on polenta

Gluten-free lemon bars | Limoncello | Rustic Meyer lemon tart | Gin and homemade tonic | Meyer lemon margarita | Lemon and ginger tea | Citrus mojo pork | Mousse au citron | Lemon custard

Thai shrimp and pork meatballs on lemongrass skewers | Shrimp and lemongrass soup | Chicken satay with peanut sauce | Chocolate lemongrass mousse | Lemongrass ribs

Lettuce cup appetizers | Curried chicken salad on lettuce | Green salad with grapefruits and almonds

Pimm’s cup cocktail | Daiquiri | Brown sugar mojitos | Coleslaw with cumin-lime vinaigrette | Gin and homemade tonic | Chicken curry with limes | Lime cake with glaze | Shrimp tacos

Quiche Lorraine | Vegetable potstickers | Shittake mushroom burgers | Kale and mushroom lasagne | Morel mushrooms | Coq au vin

Indian eggplant with okra

Ham and bean soup with green onions

Orange-Almond caramels | Orange bitters | Chocolate bark with oranges and cherries

Passion Fruit
Passion fruit cocktail

Spicy pineapple and shrimp skewers

Black-eyed peas and zipper peas

Dried hot peppers | Roasted red pepper pasta | Jalapeno jam | Pickled hot banana peppers | Enchiladas with hot banana peppers | Quinoa & Beans with Peppers | Avocado and green chili puree on fish | Trout with green chilies | Quinoa and beans bowl with peppers & chicken

Pork sausage | Beans and rice with cilantro | Indian-spiced pork burgers | Fresh chorizo sausage | Sweet Italian sausage | Spaghetti & spicy pork meatballs | Citrus mojo pork | Sourdough stuffing with kale, sausage, and dates

Fajitas with radishes and feta | Radish slaw with dill

Rhubarb custard pie

Scallops & potatoes with brown butter sauce | Pasta puttanesca with scallops | Scallops with white wine sauce | Scallops with chimichurri | Scallops and fresh pasta with garlic and dried chilies | Seared scallops

Shrimp Paella | Spiced shrimp | Salt roasted shrimp with parsley butter | Shrimp & sausage & grits | Shrimp tacos | Shrimp Scampi

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potato and black bean chili

French tomato tart | Zucchini and tomato casserole | Fresh tomato sauce | Chili | Creamy tomato soup | Cherry tomato caprese salad | Tomato juice | Cobb salad | Vegetable Soup | Sweet-corn chowder with tomato salsa | Roasted tomato and ricotta pizza

Walnut feta dip

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