Cocktail Tonic

I like to argue that a good cocktail is medicinal. When you think about it, people use alcohol to clean wounds externally, so really, internally it should do the exact same thing. Yeah, I know this is a specious argument, but I like to pretend. That’s not to say you can’t infuse your drink with health-inducing qualities, such as Chinese herbs and ingredients. To that, we turn to the Cocktail Tonic!

ginger and lemongrassmuddle ginger and lemongrass

Here’s what I’m not going to do: wade into the Western vs. Eastern medicine debate. Let’s agree that everything is awesome and doing what works for you, works for you. Me? I like to hedge my bets, so I pull a little from each category, because why not?

That’s exactly the thought behind the Cocktail Tonic. You’re infusing a Gin and Tonic (an obvious Western healthy drink) with the Chinese medicinal ingredients of fresh ginger and lemon grass. Bonus points that they taste great together.

Our friends over at Lucky Rice just launched their new Lucky Rice cookbook (go check the book our for yourself, you won’t be sorry!) and had this drink in it, so we knew we had to spread the good word about it.

add gintop with tonic water

During Alice and my travels throughout the world, I’ve had more eye opening, world rocking experiences in Asia vs anywhere else we’ve been. Personally, I chalk that up to the fact that having a Danish mother I grew up with a genuine sense of European sensibilities and playing soccer from a young age, I couldn’t help but be exposed to South American friends and cultures (as happens in California), but my Asian experiences were largely based on books and movies. Not that those aren’t great, they’re just not solid bases for anything beyond amusement.

This is precisely why when we’ve traveled to Thailand, China and Japan, I’ve come back full of new things I need to try and recreate at home. Which is exactly where the Cocktail Tonic comes in to the picture. It has the right amount of new, but with the familiar, to make it super exciting. Extra credit for being (wink, wink) medicinal too.

Now, let’s get going with the Cocktail Tonic!

cocktail tonic from lucky ricelucky rice cookbook

Cocktail Tonic
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Tonic water
  • 2ish inch knob of ginger
  • Lemongrass stalk
  • 1 ½ oz. gin
  • Glass type: Collins or Old Fashioned
  1. Pick your glass.
  2. Clean your ginger and lemongrass.
  3. Toss them in your glass.
  4. Muddle them into oblivion.
  5. Gotta release those oils and flavors.
  6. Add you bitters.
  7. Stir.
  8. Add your gin.
  9. Stir.
  10. Add your ice.
  11. You guessed it: stir.
  12. Top with tonic.
  13. Drink to your health!