The tales of the traveling Tonic bottle… In checking out their photos online one could say that this little bottle gets around. Being that funny limbo time between fresh summer and early fall harvest, I’m always forced to get creative with my canning ideas. Thanks to my new friends over at Alley Twenty Six and Behind the Stick Provisions, LLC, this week I decided to put up a small batch of jelly using the Durham produced craft Tonic Syrup. Local, weird, and easily the prettiest colored jelly I’ve ever made. With hints of lemongrass and spice, I plan on serving this Tonic jelly with goat cheese and crackers.
What’s up with the burnt orange color? The color is caused by the bark of Peruvian cinchona trees that they use. Never heard of it? Neither had I. As the name suggests, the main use for this syrup is cocktails. Gin + Tonic syrup + soda water = close to the best gin and tonic I’ve ever tasted. Interested in trying or making this somewhat regionally specific jelly yourself? You can find Alley Twenty Six’s Tonic in many drinking establishments and bottle shops around the Triangle. For those of you who don’t live in the area, Tonic is currently being sold in store and online at Southern Season. Word on the street is that their website is going hit the interwebs any day now. In the meantime, for news, ideas, and a list of retailers, check out their Facebook page.
- 1 bottle of Tonic syrup (750ml ~ 3.25 cups)
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 packs liquid pectin
- In a large-sized, non-ionized pot combine Tonic syrup and white sugar.
- Combine well. Stirring constantly (or almost) bring to a rapid boil that you cannot stir down. Boil for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add pectin, return to a boil, cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, skim off any foam.
- Ladle hot jelly into half pint jars leaving approximately 1/4 inch headspace.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and process jelly jars in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel for 12-24 hours.
- Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.