Nick Kokonas
Most Recent Book Title
Something & Tonic: A History of the World's Most Iconic Mixer
Book Description
The expanse of western civilization was hindered by a mosquito bite. For centuries, malaria devastated the European explorers who defined the contours of our modern world map—and the indigenous people who resisted them. The cure? Quinine contained in the bark of the South American cinchona tree, whose medicinal properties were discovered around the turn of the 17th century. Over 400 years later, quinine defines the essence of tonic, the most iconic mixer in the world.

Something and Tonic follows the fascinating history of tonic from the jungles of the Andes mountains to the happy hour highball. Award-winning bartender Nick Kokonas takes you on a journey around the globe, revealing how tonic emerged from medical necessity to recreational tipple. Included are 60 original cocktail recipes that reveal tonic’s potential beyond the highball, plus tips, tricks, and insight into modern bar culture and cocktail making.
Location (city/state/country)
Chicago, IL USA
Author bio
Nick Kokonas (Kuh-CONE-iss) is an award-winning bartender and a longtime veteran of the hospitality industry. He is author of the new cocktail book Something & Tonic, which explores the fascinating history of the iconic mixer and its role in the development of modern civilization, accompanied by 60 original tonic cocktail recipes. Nick can usually be found mixing drinks behind some of the most prestigious bars in the world, or as a participant in international bartending competitions.

Over the course of his career, Nick has played an integral role in critically-acclaimed bars throughout his hometown, Chicago, Ill. In 2016, he became the beverage director for The Heritage, a new restaurant just outside the city limits. It was there he created the weekly rotating cocktail that would inspire his debut book.

In Chicago Tribune food writer Phil Vettel’s review of the restaurant he writes, "Kokonas offers a tidy list of five or six cocktails, of which the most interesting is the Something and Tonic, which changes week to week. I don't know if Kokonas can sustain this for a year, but I've managed to have three versions of this drink, and so far, so good.”

Since moving on from The Heritage, Nick has spent time running bar programs in both Chicago and Charleston, SC. His book is set to be released in the Spring 2021 and will coincide with a traveling bar pop-up book tour.
Professional Speaker Topics
Hospitality, Food and Beverage, Cinchona, Tonic, Cocktails, Alcohol, Spirit Free Drinks, Non Alcoholic Beverages
  • Nick Kokonas

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