A Coffee Blog

Espresso Tonic – the drink for the summer

Which tonic do I take?

Which tonic water is better or worse is a question of faith similar to the choice of coffee beans.

Since the gin got hype, the tonic water has also come more and more to the fore. Bitter lemonades contain quinine, which is why they glow blue under UV light.

Some baristas and bartenders use this to specially arrange and decorate their drinks.

Recipe for espresso tonic

The basic recipe for espresso tonic is very simple.

  • 180ml tonic water
  • 60ml espresso
  • ice cubes

Stack the ice cubes in a tall cocktail glass and pour the well-chilled tonic water into the glass. The espresso is run up there and the drink is covered with the crema from the espresso.

You can add other spices and flavours to the tart, aromatic drink to tickle an even more special experience out of the summer drink.

Grated lemon zest and some mint give the drink a certain freshness.

As a result, the invigorating drink is very refreshing and is an absolute must on hot summer days, which you don’t want to do without.

With grated orange peel, you can direct the drink a little more in the sweet direction.

It remains very refreshing, but this gives it a fruity and full-bodied aroma.

Make your own tonic

If you generally have a passion for your own drinks and would like to adjust the flavours, you can also make your own tonic.

You can adjust the taste to your preferences and also take advantage of the fresh ingredients.

For your own tonic water you need:

  • 1 litre of water
  • 100 grams of lemongrass
  • 15 g cinchona bark
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 6 grams of allspice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 10 ml citric acid
  • 600 grams of sugar

To prepare the tonic, first, wash the lemongrass and break open the stalks with the back of a knife.

This allows the essential oils to unfold better. Orange, lemon and lime should be washed in hot water, then grate the skin and squeeze the fruit.

Except for the sugar, you put the ingredients in a saucepan and let them simmer for 20 minutes. This approach is filtered through a coffee filter and then the sugar is added and the syrup is allowed to boil one last time.

This syrup is mixed with soda in a ratio of 1:5 to make 6 litres of tonic water.

You can also refine the tonic water yourself with other flavours. Add cinnamon, cardamom or cumin to get a wintry flavour and you can also replace the sugar with agave syrup.

Herbs such as basil, lemon balm or peppermint can also give the tonic water its very own taste, which is guaranteed to make the drink unique.


Q: Will the ice cubes water down my coffee?

A: If you don’t drink the espresso tonic quickly, you will of course notice that the ice cubes melt. If you don’t want to falsify the original taste and want to enjoy your drink in peace, you can make ice cubes out of espresso and tonic water. Then you take 3 tonic water ice cubes and an espresso ice cube.

Q: Can I have regular coffee?

A: You can also use regular coffee or filter coffee. The taste will vary slightly, but the basic principle is the same. If you don’t like espresso or prefer a lighter coffee, you can simply use the normal Americano.

Q: Can I make a cocktail out of this too?

A: The wording of Espresso Tonic is very reminiscent of Gin Tonic. Some coffee houses offer espresso tonic with gin. It’s not a classic cocktail, but it’s not a long drink either. It is strongly reminiscent of an Irish coffee for midsummer.

Q: Can I also use cold brew?

A: Cold brew or cold drip works very well with this speciality coffee. The cold brew gives you even better nuances of the coffee, which pair perfectly with the taste of tonic water. Again, it is important to follow personal taste. You can use types of coffee that are a bit fruitier and floral, which combine very well with a little orange peel.

Q: Why should I make my tonic?

A: You can use your tonic to customize the espresso tonic to suit your taste. You can create a Christmassy taste with cinnamon or cardamom in tonic water and the summer drink can also be used as a refreshment on cold days.

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