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Old 29-01-2015, 09:24   #256
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Not being a fan of tonic, I am perfectly happy with a spritz of seltzer and a twist on lime. Or just a good gin/rocks with a lime twist.

But, I'm American, so what the hell do I know?
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Old 29-01-2015, 09:31   #257
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Has anyone done a cost per liter of tonic? I ask because I have been using the Sodastream tonic syrup for several years now, and have come to really appreciate the simplicity and volume of finished tonic water that results from a single bottle of syrup. This simplicity and the storage qualities of their syrup are very appealing for me as I prepare for cruising with gin. I am wondering how making my own syrup, coupled with how well a DIY tonic syrup (or one of the several options to Sodastream) would compare, on a strict cost basis. I will probably still continue to use the Sodastream for its cost, simplicity and storage qualities, but the craft tonic makers are certainly appealing. It is so nice to have options.
The ingredients are not cheap. It is so much fuss ordering and being able to take delivery while still at anchor here in Greece that I am loathe to order tiny quantities, which makes it an even more costly initial outlay. I am very confident though that I will end up with a vastly superior product. I will keep track of cost and pop in a post when I am done .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Dockhead - thanks for the US source. Anything purchased out of the EU runs the risk of being not just delayed by customs, but difficult to then trace.

I have just found Bristol Botanicals in the UK sell pharmaceutical grade cinchona, but purchase is restricted probably due to its toxicity. I have sent them an email enquiring if they will sell me any:
Red Cinchona bark (Cinchona spp) - Bristol Botanicals

I have also contacted Joanna's Garden in Germany to see if they sell any food grade cinchona.

Fresh lemongrass will be the next challenge here in Greece .

SWL
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Old 29-01-2015, 09:37   #258
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Re: Gin Tankage?

I went to an Asian market and bought some bundles of lemongrass, planted it in a pot and it grew quite well. But being lazy (probably from excessive G&T imbibing) I stopped watering the plant and it suffered, but didn't die. I figured it's easier to go to the store and buy some when I use it for cooking. I'm sure there are some Middle eastern or Asian markets in Greece, no?
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Old 29-01-2015, 09:48   #259
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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.....I'm sure there are some Middle eastern or Asian markets in Greece, no?
There probably are markets like this in Athens, but international cuisine has simply not been widely embraced here and certainly not on the little islands.

Lemongrass may be available from large supermarkets in places like Crete or Rhodes. I have never actually seen it for sale anywhere and will probably have to order this from the UK as well. Frustrating thinking how easy this would all be in Australia. It will taste all the better for the effort needed .
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Old 29-01-2015, 09:58   #260
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Has anyone done a cost per liter of tonic? I ask because I have been using the Sodastream tonic syrup for several years now, and have come to really appreciate the simplicity and volume of finished tonic water that results from a single bottle of syrup. This simplicity and the storage qualities of their syrup are very appealing for me as I prepare for cruising with gin. I am wondering how making my own syrup, coupled with how well a DIY tonic syrup (or one of the several options to Sodastream) would compare, on a strict cost basis. I will probably still continue to use the Sodastream for its cost, simplicity and storage qualities, but the craft tonic makers are certainly appealing. It is so nice to have options.

I just did the calc for Sodastream: $8 per bottle to make 12 liters = about $0.70 per liter. I don't consider the carbonation cost because I refill my own cylinders using a tank of commercial bartender CO2 liquefied which I can get for free (well, I do buy a pint of IPA to say thanks to the bar). I use about 6-8 bottles of gas (Sodastream bottles) and about a dozen syrup bottles per year. I haven't calculated how much gin that is because, sometimes, there are some Martinis consuming my stock. And then there's the wine, craft beer and the scotch vying for my attention......
All good questions, which go to the heart of one of the question of the thread!

The question of tonic is important on my boat, because we go through tons of it, with a combination of lots of people on board (we have seven berths not counting the salon) and parties on board.

In Scandinavia, it costs a fortune.

Besides that, store-bought tonic is not very tasty.

Besides that, it's a PITA to haul it and store it.

So everything is against store-bought bottled tonic water.

Sodastream looked good to me at first, but the cost doesn't stack up all that well using their proprietary gas bottles, and it's more apparatus to buy, store and fiddle with.

Seaworthy Lass really put the lightbulb on in my head with the insight that you don't need to carbonate the drink itself; just produce carbonated water and add syrup. Duh. So that's going to be my solution this year.

The economics of this add up really well, plus the apparatus is cheap and compact and non-fiddly. The CO2 cartridges cost only 23p each or so. I don't know what it costs to make the syrup, but it can't be much, and furthermore, fresh and homemade syrup has got to be incomparably better than store bought.

Plus, we have Seaworthy Lass to come up with the perfect syrup recipe
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Old 29-01-2015, 10:01   #261
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Dockhead - thanks for the US source. Anything purchased out of the EU runs the risk of being not just delayed by customs, but difficult to then trace.
I will be in the U.S. next week. I could bring some back and send it to you by post from the UK. I'll be ordering it anyway for myself if we don't come up with an excellent EU source.
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Old 29-01-2015, 10:51   #262
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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I will be in the U.S. next week. I could bring some back and send it to you by post from the UK. I'll be ordering it anyway for myself if we don't come up with an excellent EU source.
That would be brilliant if I can't source any! Many thanks for the offer.

I have just heard back from Bristol Pharmaceutical with the message: "We are only able to supply it to medical practitioners or with a prescription."

Joanna's Harden is a dead end - my email could not be delivered.

Amazon UK have a third source for the bark - Sena Herbal. At first glance I dismissed it as it is a stupid price for 100g (£19), but I see it is more reasonable for 250g (£25). Postage to Greece may or may not be an option.

I will keep trying for the moment.

SWL x
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Old 29-01-2015, 10:58   #263
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
That would be brilliant if I can't source any! Many thanks for the offer.

I have just heard back from Bristol Pharmaceutical with the message: "We are only able to supply it to medical practitioners or with a prescription."

Joanna's Harden is a dead end - my email could not be delivered.

Amazon UK have a third source for the bark - Sena Herbal. At first glance I dismissed it as it is a stupid price for 100g (£19), but I see it is more reasonable for 250g (£25). Postage to Greece may or may not be an option.

I will keep trying for the moment.

SWL x
Don't waste your time -- I'll pick us some up. The US source sends a pound at a time -- surely no one needs that much. I'll buy a pound and send you half of it. My investment into the intellectual property of the recipes which will result
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Old 29-01-2015, 11:04   #264
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Don't waste your time -- I'll pick us some up. The US source sends a pound at a time -- surely no one needs that much. I'll buy a pound and send you half of it. My investment into the intellectual property of the recipes which will result
It's a deal .

Many thanks .
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Old 29-01-2015, 12:58   #265
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Getting back to the first part of the original topic -- this is what I've decided to do for gin, provided they agree to sell it to me:

Alcohols Limited

I know this gin (it's stencil-branded as Tesco's Finest) and it's very good, better than my house gin, Gordons.

I wrote to the distillery on company letterhead (my boat is owned by a UK company ), asking to supply stores for a long sea journey . We'll see if they can or will sell to me.

If they do, I'll have a 25 liter jug of 80% gin concentrate, which will need to be diluted. I'll keep the jug in the lazarette, I guess, and make up a few liters from time to time as needed. Now I'm worrying about the water -- the quality of which will be important to how the final product turns out. We drink the tank water, filtered with a Seagull, and it seems very good -- maybe we'll start with that. I would hate to have to hump bottled water, something I've never done on this boat.


For the legality prudes on here -- this will be absolutely and perfectly legal inside the EU. The poly jug will be properly labelled and the contents will be for purely personal use. Purchase with all duties paid. Since booze duty in the UK is imposed by volume, without regard to alcohol content, buying the concentrate rather than the final product saves 50%.

For going to Russia, though, I might need to make up a new label: "Deck Cleaning Solution", for example
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Old 29-01-2015, 13:06   #266
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Re: Gin Tankage?

This looks like a great recipe to start out with:

DIY Tonic Water: Use It for Personalized Gin and Tonics All Summer Long : Bay Area Bites


I am more and more convinced that this will be incomparably better than any store-bought tonic.
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Old 30-01-2015, 05:07   #267
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Getting back to the first part of the original topic -- this is what I've decided to do for gin, provided they agree to sell it to me:

Alcohols Limited

I know this gin (it's stencil-branded as Tesco's Finest) and it's very good, better than my house gin, Gordons.

I wrote to the distillery on company letterhead (my boat is owned by a UK company ), asking to supply stores for a long sea journey . We'll see if they can or will sell to me.

If they do, I'll have a 25 liter jug of 80% gin concentrate, which will need to be diluted. I'll keep the jug in the lazarette, I guess, and make up a few liters from time to time as needed. Now I'm worrying about the water -- the quality of which will be important to how the final product turns out. We drink the tank water, filtered with a Seagull, and it seems very good -- maybe we'll start with that. I would hate to have to hump bottled water, something I've never done on this boat.


For the legality prudes on here -- this will be absolutely and perfectly legal inside the EU. The poly jug will be properly labelled and the contents will be for purely personal use. Purchase with all duties paid. Since booze duty in the UK is imposed by volume, without regard to alcohol content, buying the concentrate rather than the final product saves 50%.

For going to Russia, though, I might need to make up a new label: "Deck Cleaning Solution", for example
Duhhhhh

Dockhead-Why dilute?
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Old 30-01-2015, 06:04   #268
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Getting back to the first part of the original topic -- this is what I've decided to do for gin, provided they agree to sell it to me:

Alcohols Limited

I know this gin (it's stencil-branded as Tesco's Finest) and it's very good, better than my house gin, Gordons.

I wrote to the distillery on company letterhead (my boat is owned by a UK company ), asking to supply stores for a long sea journey . We'll see if they can or will sell to me.

If they do, I'll have a 25 liter jug of 80% gin concentrate, which will need to be diluted. I'll keep the jug in the lazarette, I guess, and make up a few liters from time to time as needed. Now I'm worrying about the water -- the quality of which will be important to how the final product turns out. We drink the tank water, filtered with a Seagull, and it seems very good -- maybe we'll start with that. I would hate to have to hump bottled water, something I've never done on this boat.


For the legality prudes on here -- this will be absolutely and perfectly legal inside the EU. The poly jug will be properly labelled and the contents will be for purely personal use. Purchase with all duties paid. Since booze duty in the UK is imposed by volume, without regard to alcohol content, buying the concentrate rather than the final product saves 50%.

For going to Russia, though, I might need to make up a new label: "Deck Cleaning Solution", for example
UPDATE:

Heartbreak!

Got the quote from Alcohols Limited. They will indeed sell us a 25 liter jug of concentrate, but it costs -- get this, 6.97 GBP per liter of pure alcohol for the booze, 28.22 (!) per liter duty, and 20% VAT. That works out to 19.84 (!) per liter of 47% export strength after dilution, or more than 2.5x the Helgoland cost for bottled Beefeater.

I didn't realize the duty was paid on pure alcohol content; individuals pay per liter of booze regardless of alcohol content.

So this whole idea goes right onto the ash heap of history.

Back to the old plan, which is stocking up in Helgoland.
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Old 30-01-2015, 06:31   #269
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Re: Gin Tankage?

What about the Åland Islands, off the coast of Sweden, just beyond the archipelago?

I visited there once. Many Swedes went there to party and to buy booze.
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Old 30-01-2015, 10:37   #270
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Re: Gin Tankage?

A follow up on cinchona available through Amazon UK. Yesterday it was listed from three sources on their website, all German: Joanna's Garden, Sena-Herb (both distributed by Detrade) and Teeblume (the latter not sending to Greece).

Before Dockhead made his kind offer, I tried contacting Joanna's Garden to clarify if their product labelled "kräuter" was actually cinchona.

Today I had this weird reply from Detrade on their behalf:

Hello,
Sorry, we don’t say a legal statemant over the cinchona bark.
Best regards


Cinchona bark from both Joanna's Garden and Sena-Herb disappeared today from Amazon UK's website .

Teeblume, the third source on Amazon UK is still listed. It is labelled Chinarinde (= cinchona) and as Teeblume is a tea company, I think it is likely to be food grade. It is available in these quantities with free delivery to the UK:
250g £14.90
500g £21.90
1 kg £35.90 (equivalent to US$25 per pound). For larger quantities this seems the cheapest price I can find in the UK and compares favourably with US$30 per pound through Penn Herb Company in the US:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cinchona-cut...=cinchona+bark

Cinchona is also available directly through Teeblume at the very reasonable price of only 3.90€ per 100g:
teeblume.de*-*
This translates to roughly to only US$20 per pound. They do not, however, post to the UK or Greece from their German website (only Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden).

SWL

Edited to add:
Joanna's Garden do actually have cut cinchona bark on their website, listed as "chinarinde geschnitten", not "kräuter". It is available in packages from 10g to 1kg. The 1kg bags are a bargain price of 29.50€ (converts to roughly US$15 per pound). They do not post to the UK or Greece either though:
http://joannasgarden.com/Chinarinde


Dockhead, I can find no way of having any delivered to Greece, so your offer is extra appreciated .
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