Queen Victoria Tonic

  • Serves

    makes 1 cocktail


Homemade tonic waters can be concocted with particular flavor profiles to pair with specific gins. At the Lincoln, Nebraska, speakeasy The Other Room, the aromatics that characterize Bombay Sapphire gin—raspberry-flavored orris root and peppery, flowery grains of paradise—are used to flavor the tonic that is mixed with the gin. The drink gets an extra floral boost from a touch of the elderflower liqueur St. Germain. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2014 issue with Camper English's story, "Miracle Cure."


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 13 cup citric acid
  • 3 tbsp. ground grains of paradise
  • 2 tbsp. orris root powder
  • 2 tbsp. cinchona bark powder
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes, plus twist for garnish
  • 2 oz. club soda
  • 1 oz. gin, preferably Bombay Sapphire
  • 12 oz. St. Germain liqueur


Step 1

Boil sugar with 4 cups water in a 2-qt. saucepan until dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Add citric acid, grains of paradise, orris root, cinchona bark, lemongrass, and lime zest and juice; simmer 30 minutes. Strain and chill tonic. Stir 1 oz. reserved tonic, the club soda, gin, and St. Germain in a highball glass with 1 large ice cube; garnish with lime twist.

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