Donn’s Tinc

Out here at Bittermens’ Central (better known as our apartment), we love Tiki Drinks – especially those made with Donn’s Mix. Unfortunately, we never seem to have cinnamon syrup or grapefruit juice on hand when we’re trying to make one of the Beachcomber’s classics.

Being bitters makers, we figured that there must be a way to make a more stable tincture of a Donn’s Mix – and after a few tries we came up with something that even the great ‘Elemakule gave his blessings to! So, without further ado, here’s our recipe for Donn’s Tinc.

Donn’s Tinc
3 Ounces of Sugar
3 Ounces of Water
20 Grams of Cinnamon (Cassia) Chips (source: Mountain Rose Herbs)
12 Grams of Powdered Grapefruit Peel (source: Mountain Rose Herbs)

Put in a sauce pan over low heat. Once it starts to bubble, stir for 90 seconds. Then remove from the heat and stir for another 90 seconds to cool.

Add 8 ounces of 135 Proof Neutral Grain Spirit (Everclear, Spirytus, Devil Springs – dilute with water if necessary) and stir for another 90 seconds. Pour into an airtight jar and let sit for 4 days.

Filter into a measuring cup – we recommend first through a fine sieve and then through cheesecloth or a gold coffee filter. You should get about 6.5 ounces.

Add 1/2 Tsp Grapefruit Oil (source: Mountain Rose Herbs).

Dilute by 30% with filtered water (that’s about 2 ounces). It may louche (become cloudy). Don’t worry. It will be fine.

Bottle. We like the Clear Woozy bottles with Orifice Reducers (shaker top) from SKS Bottles. Make sure they’re as clean as possible – wash, rinse and then sanitize with the highest proof neutral grain spirits you can find!

We threw some into a Coco-Piña Cocktail: 2.5 oz of Flor de Caña 7, .25 Sanz Pineapple Syrup, .25 Sanz Coconut Syrup, 2 dashes of Donn’s Tinc and 1 dash of Peychauds. It’s still a work in progress (maybe go down to a teaspoon each on the syrups), but it has some potential.

Nothing will replace Donn’s Mix, but for a nice tincture that you can use in stirred cocktails that can weather the test of time, it’s a pretty darned good substitution.

We’re offering this recipe under a Creative Commons license. Bars and individuals can use it as an ingredient in cocktails as long as you attribute the recipe back to us – but you can’t make a Donn’s Tinc for commercial sale.

Creative Commons License
Donn’s Tinc by Bittermens, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at