Bradley's Kina Tonic is a fresh look at an old world product that has long since been relegated to that bland flat artificial substance your bartender shot out of a plastic gun behind the bar. This just doesn't do our gin loving ancestors' tonics any justice. My Tonic, however, is made completely from whole ingredients right out of the history book. Where other guys go for powdered quinine or "tonic flavoring," I went right to the source and make mine from whole spices, real citrus oil, and hand-selected Peruvian cinchona bark. This stuff is the real deal.
Due to the nature of the raw ingredients, there's a much more complex and layered flavor profile than the tonics we've become accustomed to. The Peruvian cinchona bark lends a very warm and earthy bitterness and rounds out the subtle sweetness and acidity of this tonic which adds a layer of depth to the experience. It then finishes with the delicate flavor of real cold-pressed orange oil. No extracts here. No corners cut.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
The bark of the cinchona plant, also known as the quina (KINA) plant, has been used medicinally since the mid 16th century for a number of purposes, most notably by early traders to effectively fight malaria. Eventually, this medicinal herb gained huge popularity with the English and the British Raj, and naturally found its way into one of the most notoriously refreshing cocktails, the Gin and Tonic.
Nowadays, unfortunately, it's much cheaper and easier for large scale food manufacturers to produce tonics with an artificial "tonic flavoring" or powdered quinine. Until you've had a tonic made with the real stuff, you haven't had a tonic at all.
HOW TO USE THIS TONIC
My Kina Tonic is packaged in a non-alcoholic concentrated form just like it was back in the old days. To make a cocktail, all you have to do is blend the tonic with seltzer or club soda to make a balanced "tonic water" that will pair amazingly well with any Gin or Vodka. Here's a little recipe that also will appear on the back of the bottle:
Bradley's Tonic and Gin
- .75 oz Bradley's Kina Tonic
- 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
- 3 oz Club Soda or Seltzer
In a tall glass, mix the ingredients over ice, garnish with a slice of orange or lime, and drink with good humor.
The plan, as it stands, is to hold a small private release party at Seattle's first craft distillery since prohibition: Sound Spirits. We'll be drinking Ebb+Flow Gin & Tonics, Vodka Tonics, and some crafty new cocktails we've developed specifically for the event. There will be a distillery tour, good people, bad jokes, and many handshakes. Grab one of the very limited spots at the party and come celebrate the birth of a new era for tonic lovers!
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Once we gain some momentum with this awesome Tonic, there will be a slough of new products in the pipeline to be released alongside the Kina Tonic. For example, I have fantastic recipes for Velvet Falernum, whiskey-based bitters, and a fantastic new product called Kola Tonic that I'm particularly excited about. The Kola Tonic is an extinct cocktail ingredient made directly from real African Kola Nuts that pairs amazingly well with Rums and Whiskeys. Let's hope we get that far!
My name's Brad, and I'm a career distiller and bartender. After home brewing since I could drive and eventually getting into trouble with my mother's tea kettle and some copper tubing, I can safely say I've always been drawn to the adult beverage world. With several years experience as a brewer, distiller, and bartender in both Kentucky and Seattle, I've noticed an incredible enthusiasm for quality and creativity behind the bar, in the kitchen, and at home. And, that's why I'm here: to bring something new and useful to the table. I know you'll love this tonic as much as I do.
Risks and challenges
Starting a business of any kind always costs more than you expect it to, so we're trying to expect the unexpected. First things first, we have to find a line on suitable packaging components(bottles, caps, labels, boxes, etc) and quality raw ingredients in bulk for the tonic. After that, much of our capital will go towards renting space in a commercial FDA approved kitchen, and we'll have to do some serious local marketing.
Also, as with any food-based project there are dozens of hurdles to jump through, most of which have been underway for a couple months(FDA, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Agriculture regulations, etc.). Along complying with the legal and safety requirements, we'll likely eventually have to move into our own commercial space and scale up our process which will require new equipment.
Thankfully, with several years experience in production and major connections to start-up companies, I have no doubt these will be minor speed bumps in the road to getting this product on the shelf in the Pacific Northwest, and eventually to the rest of the union. We already have connections with local distribution companies, markets, and shops and are coordinating an online retail specialist so we can get this product to you no matter what side of the Mississippi you're on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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