Square Root Tonic
Square Root was founded in 2012 by Robyn Simms and Ed Taylor in their one bedroom flat in Haringey, North London. They started creating their own ginger beer at their local farmer’s market, rising at the crack of dawn every Saturday to squeeze lemons and press ginger roots. They quickly developed aan enthusiastic local following and decided to experiment with different flavours and seasonal ingredients, from elderflowers to rhubarbs.
They converted a 1920s tricycle into a mobile bar, affectionately named Elsie, and peddled around London dispensing refreshing fruit sodas to delighted passers by. The size of the operation soon became too much for their kitchen and in late 2013 they established the Square Root Soda Works, a dedicated producing and bottling space housed under a railway arch in Hackney Downs.
Ed and Robyn soon turned their hands to tonics and after experimentation with different flavour combinations have developed three innovative and distinctive tonic recipes.
The Cinchona Tonic is their take on classic style Indian tonic water. They extract quinine from the bark of the Cinchona tree, which gives the tonic a lovely golden amber colour, and add freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemongrass and a dash of sugar. The Cinchona bark and citrus botanicals the gives the tonic flavours rich earthy spices, balanced with notes of fresh tea leaves and lemon zest.
The Hop Tonic is inspired by the rich style of Indian Pale Ale made famous by American micro-breweries. Ed and Robyn use Citra and Columbus hops, combined with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a touch of wormwood to add a hint of bitterness and complement the citrus and pine flavours from the hops. A delicious alternative to bitter lemon and superb for those who like their G&Ts with a refreshing citrus bite.
The Artemisia Tonic was inspired by the bohemian absinthe bars of nineteenth century Paris. Ed and Robyn created this using three plants from the Artemisia botanical family, wormwood, tarragon and mugwort, giving this tonic its distinctive name. These spicy botanicals are mixed with freshly squeezed lime juice – a delicious balance of bittersweet flavours.
The Square Root team juice and infuse all their fruit by hand on site, working directly with local farmers to source the freshest fruit and happily accepting the wonky shaped fruit that isn’t quite the right shape for the supermarkets! They use sugar beet grown on British farms and fair trade ethically sourced sugar cane sourced from Mauritian farmers. From humble beginnings in the kitchen of Robyn and Ed’s one bedroom flat, Square Root has established itself as one of the leading artisan producers in London’s thriving craft tonic scene. Quite simply a must try for all G&T enthusiasts!