Restaurant News

Tonic From Tuck Shop's John Cavanagh Gets a Nod from Saveur

Does John Cavanagh ever so slow down?

As the general manager of the Tuck Shop, the cozy house-turned-eatery in Central Phoenix, as well as Astor House, the new homey breakfast/lunch/snack/wine shop next door, Cavanagh also consults for other restaurateurs, rebuilds motorcycles, and -- oh, yeah, brews tonic syrup from scratch for his private label product, John's Premium, which recently received a write up in Saveur.

"When customers in England tell me they like it, I think, 'Wow, you guys invented tonic!'" Cavanagh tells the gourmet, food, wine, and travel magazine. "Then I know that it's good."

Read on to see what else the article had to say about Cavanagh's tonic -- which, by the way, makes some wonderful summer cocktails.

Here's an excerpt from the article in Saveur:

"Recently, though, a friend gave me a bottle of John's Premium Tonic Syrup. It's a concentrate that I can mix into drinks at my discretion. The ingredients -- real cinchona bark, fresh citrus juices (orange, lemon, and lime), lemongrass, organic agave nectar, plus "secret" herbs and spices -- are alluringly pure. The color is a natural amber (it's made with actual bark instead of quinine, the colorless isolate found in most tonic waters); when mixed with seltzer, the drink looks like unfiltered ale, yet tastes like the essence of tonic: bracing quinine complemented by fragrant citrus, with a subtle balanced sweetness.

Created in 2008 by John Cavanagh for Tuck Shop, the restaurant he manages in Phoenix, Arizona, he now sells the handmade elixir online. "When customers in England tell me they like it, I think, 'Wow, you guys invented tonic!'" says Cavanagh. "Then I know that it's good." In addition to making the most refreshing gin and tonic, the syrup stands in for vermouth in a brisk martini, helps transform whiskey into the most summery old-fashioned when used in place of bitters, and is delicious with sparkling water and grapefruit juice in a nonalcoholic aperitif. I loved it as a kid, and I'm thrilled to have found that tonic has grown up with me. A 4-ounce bottle of John's Premium Tonic Syrup costs $6.99. To order, visit"

For the full article, go here.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld