What is Tonic Water? Uses, How to make Homemade Tonic Water Recipe + Why Glow

Are you aware of the existence of tonic water? Tonic water is medicinal in nature and can be helpful in preventing malaria. In this article, find out more on how to make homemade tonic water, and how beneficial it is. Interesting, tonic water glows too! You may want to find more about this too.

What is Tonic water?

Tonic water also known as Indian water is believed to be carbonated soft drink in which quinine is dissolved. The name originated from its ability to cure malaria. Quinine was added to the drink thus acting as anti-malaria particularly in tropical areas of south Asia and Africa, where the disease was prevalent. Owing to the bitterness of quinine powder, British officials, who at the time of colonial period in the 19th century found in Africa and India (tropical regions), began mixing the powder with soda and sugar. Basically that’s how tonic water was created.

In the past, tonic water was known for its medicinal property and only contained carbon water. Its sole purpose was to act as anti-malaria; since it had a large combination of quinine.

However, in the modern world today, tonic water still contains quinine but instead the use is totally different from the ordinary use of the past. It’s diluted, less bitter which is primarily used to help gin and vodka pass the throat more easily.

What is in tonic water? Is Tonic Water Carbonated?

  • What is in Tonic Water?

It is important to understand the ingredient in tonic water. With such information, you are in a better position to either buy or come up with homemade product; one that much your specification.  To start with, tonic water contains quinine as its basic ingredient known. However, there could be more than that. Ingredients such as sweeteners (fruit sugars), herbs and spices are included to make a gin.

According to the United States, quinine is considered as a drug prescribed in the treatment of malaria-FDA-has outlined the standard amount to be included in tonic water. In its guideline, the recommended amount of quinine should not exceed 83 parts for every million. This simply translates to a quarter to a half percent of what they consider as the medicinal levels.

  • Is Tonic Water Carbonated?

Traditionally, tonic water was all about medication meant to cure malaria by the British army in the tropical areas. However, the trend is changing fast with inclusion of other ingredient to make a desirable drink. Currently men are adding sugar to make it elegantly fashionable. Tonic water has a very strong and bitter flavor owing to the presence of quinine.

Tonic water is a carbonated drink in which carbon dioxide is pressurized to basically produce bubbles. The carbonation process can occur naturally -as in the case of mineral springs- or better still can be artificially made. This is done to specifically give water acidic pH thus adding more flavors.

How to make Homemade Tonic Water Recipe

Do you have that desire burning within your heart to have homemade tonic water? Probably you are wondering how to start off and still confused on what to you use as your ingredients.

Here is the recipe:


4 cups of water

½ cup chopped cinchona bark (powder can work as well)

At least 3 limes, peeled zests only

¼ teaspoon Hawaiian salt

2 oranges, peeled zests only

2 lemons peeled zest only

2 cups of chopped lemongrass, chopped (about 4 stalks)

3 cups of cane sugar



  1. Using a medium saucepan, mix the 3 cups of cane sugar and 4 cups of water. Boil until the sugar dissolve. Thereafter, you can turn the heat down.
  2. Add 3 tablespoon of chopped cinchona, 6 tablespoon of citric powder, about 4 stalks of lemongrass, and the zest of juice of 3 limes and 2 oranges. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture and simmer for about 20 minutes .this will make sure the powders completely dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. You can sieve to remove large chunks through a colander. Using a coffee filter or cheesecloth, filter.
  4. Pour the tonic liquid using a funnel into storage bottles and store in the refrigerator.

 What makes or why does Tonic Water Glow? How to make your own Tonic Water Glow

How you ever experienced something glow in the dark? It can be a lot of fun playing with such things as bracelets, wands, garments and other toys when they glow in the dark. Needless to say, did you know you can make something at home that glows! Tonic water is not exceptional either. Enjoying drinking tonic water in a dark room or pub can be fun: the glow adds more exciting pleasure.

What makes tonic water glow?

It is interesting to know that tonic water glows. What is it in tonic water that makes it glow? Tonic water from what we have found out is a carbonated drink that has a chemical compound called quinine dissolved in it. Extracted from the bark of a tree, quinine has been used for decades primarily in the treatment for malaria. Quinine known for its bitter taste gives tonic water the flavor which is often reduced by addition of sweeteners.

Interesting, quinine has been found to be very fluorescent under some conditions.

How quinine makes tonic water glow is amazing. Under an ultraviolet condition, dissolved quinine makes the tonic water fluoresce a brilliant bright blue.

How to make your own tonic water glow?

What you need.

  • Tonic water
  • A clear plastic container/cup
  • A dropper
  • Bleach
  • Ultraviolet “black light bulb”
  • A room to be darkened.


  • It’s advisable to avoid looking directly at the ultraviolet or even shining it on your skin. Doing so, you risk damaging your skin and eyes.
  • Read the instructions on the bleach and follow all the precautionary instructions to the latter. Do not drink the tonic that is mixed with the bleach. In case the mixture gets in contact with your skin, rinse with tap water.


  • In a clear plastic container, pour about one cup of tonic water.
  • Turn the ultraviolet black light on and shine it on the cup. Make sure the room is dark for clear visibility.
  • Using the dropper, add between two to three drops of the bleach to the tonic water. Meanwhile continue shining the black light on the cup of the tonic water.


Tonic Water Uses-What is Tonic Water Used for?

Tonic water has health benefits as well as general uses.

  • Owing to the presence of quinine, tonic water has been for years used in the treatment for malaria. To date quinine is still considered as a drug in the cure for malaria particularly it’s preferred to drugs that are resistance.
  • Sugar is an ingredient in tonic water; this helps in periods of high stress level or rather where there is high need of calories.
  • Tonic water can be used as mixer particularly to those who wish to take hard liquor drinks. The water has fizz and the sweetness to make desirable cocktail for a gin.
  • The fact that tonic water is in itself water: most biological processes in the human body solely depend on water.






Imbibe: Homemade tonic water

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