Tag Archives: Boulder

A visit to Boulder: Tonic “Herban” lounge

16 Jun

A week ago, I took a trip to Boulder Colorado for the the annual Body Mind Centering Conference, an event that blew my mind but has nothing to do with the subject matter of this blog.  Other than experiencing the conference, the one thing I desired from Boulder was to visit Tonic, a bar I have heard about through the years on various fermentation websites and forums.  Tonic, apparently, is one of the few places where Jun is commercially available, and everything I’ve read says that the owner is very secretive about his methods.  I went to Tonic one evening after the conference and got a serving of the Jun, which was brought to me in the teacup you see here, probably 6-8oz for a whopping 6 bucks.  Oh, well, it’s vacation.


I really wanted to get a plain brew so that I could taste their formula in pure form, but they don’t have that on the menu, unfortunately.  I opted for the “flower power,” with chrysanthemum, red clover, calendula, chamomile and yarrow.  The brew was much more bitter than mine at home, but I think that might be more due to the flower additions than to the brewing method.  The other thing I noticed about Tonic’s brew was that I felt enough of a buzz after drinking it that I was a bit worried about driving afterwards.  Granted, I drank it on an empty stomach, and the other thing I learned the hard way the next night is that alcohol in general has a much larger effect on the body when you are a mile above sea level!  I just found an article that addresses the “trace amount” of alcohol content:  apparently that has been an issue for the owners vs. the authorities.

I came to the bar without grand expectations of getting brewing information because from what I’ve read the owners are secretive of their techniques.  What I was faced with was still disappointing.  The bartender I talked with has no involvement or interest in the brewing.  He couldn’t even tell me if they brew the stuff on site or elsewhere, which I thought was very odd since he must see what’s in the back room.  He was much more interested in talking about New York, as he grew up there and moved to Boulder some 18 years ago or more.

Tonic's Jun menu.

Tonic’s Jun menu.

One exciting thing about the bar is that there were some “elixers” that I had never heard of before on the menu.  I might have ordered a ling elixer if I had either more time or a designated driver.  


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