The pH Experiment

#3 Botanical Cider

Botanical Cider



Will the flavors and botanicals of tonic add complexity to a traditional cider?


Tom took a traditional cider recipe and added tonic botanicals to create a cocktail inspired cider. 

Alc./Vol. BU: pH:
6.2% N/A 3.8


Another month, another beverage!

This month we thought we’d take our cue from the world of spirits (no, I don’t mean ghosts). I’m not a huge fan of spirits. I appreciate a well-crafted cocktail, but more often than not when I have spirits, I enjoy simple straightforward classics: bourbon on the rocks, an old fashioned, or GNT.

The flavor of tonic is something I’ve always been drawn to. Its unique bitter flavor appeals to me and reminds me of grapefruit pith. The fact that cinchona bark is the most economical source of quinine and a cure for malaria makes it even more interesting.

To make this beverage we started by making a dry version of our standard cider (sourced from WA dessert apples) and filtered it through activated carbon (next time you see me ask me to share my activated carbon stories related to FMB, Honu, and this project; it’s a messy process) to remove color and esters. We then aged the cider on cinchona bark, grapefruit and orange peel.

We hope you find the resulting hard tonic to be refreshing as a stand-alone beverage or your new favorite mixer along your favorite gin.


Thomas Bleigh
Innovation Brew Master
Craft Brew Alliance


Check out the results of the survey below.