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Snake Oil is a vernacular term for a health tonic portrayed as a cure-all for illnesses yet has dubious medicinal properties. Whilst I make no claim that Snake Oil Tonic Syrup will cure all your ailments it is, inarguably, the perfect remedy for a premium gin that is lacking a worthy tonic. With a bottle of Snake Oil in your fridge any soda water will, with a simple pour, be converted into a delicious, life-infusing accompaniment for any gin.

The recipe is the brainchild of Jon Lark, co-founder and owner of Kangaroo Island Spirits, creators of award-winning spirits and liqueurs: Best Gin in Australia 2016 at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards championship no less. He also happens to be my dad. Jon has been searching for just the right accompaniment for his gins. In development for a number of years with much tinkering of the recipe I now feel it has reached a quality that is sufficiently outstanding and sympatico with the premium small batch ethos.

Ingredients: of course it's a family secret, however without giving away too much, the tonic syrup is deliciously flavoured by botanicals picked fresh from the garden of Kangaroo Island Spirits. Ranging from real Cinchona bark (quinine) and English lavender to a few choice leaves of Rose Geranium, it is a complex yet adequately subtle tonic that blends seamlessly with any clean spirit and especially with gin.  

My name is Lindon Lark and I grew up around foodies and quality organic, locally sourced foods. When I get home from work tired and don’t feel like cooking dinner (just yet) my mind turns to a cool, refreshing gin and tonic, Going to the cupboard and pulling out the mass-produced gin I proceed to drown it in a regular carbonated tonic water with not nearly enough ice. If feeling fancy the concoction will possibly be graced with a wedge of lime. This will quench my thirst and be ‘good enough’ nine times out of 10.

For those special evenings when guests come over, I’ve finished a massive assignment or my partner has just received a promotion at work, it’s time to get the stepladder and beeline for the top shelf gin (Australian of course). Reaching into the back of the cupboard I locate the best set of glasses then use those fancy spherical ice moulds and conclude my little ritual by venturing into my garden to scavenge a leaf or two of mint and a few stems of thyme. In the past, everything would be looking good but then I’d open the very average bottle of supermarket tonic water and all of a sudden the magic was gone. But disappointment no more - now, the magic is enhanced because I always have some Snake Oil on hand.

Having become increasingly conscious of a food mile mentality, I don’t eat meat unless it’s grown in my state and comes from a reputable source. I’d like to see the same thing applied to everything else we consume. South Australia is the source of some of the cleanest, freshest produce in Australia and all our ingredients (bar the Cinchona from Peru) have been sourced from this fair State, most from organic growers.


I am actually a full-time student but felt it was only fair, in fact an act of community service, to share this delicious and health-giving beverage with you all as soon as possible. My father has entrusted me with the recipe and as you can imagine my financial situationis not opulent so any contributions will be most gratefully received and invested in this very worth while project. Thankfully I will able to reward your generosity with the rewards listed here and we both get to experience the joy.  

How The Funds Will Be Used

After deciding to follow through with this little business venture, I complied a cost analysis on the start-up of this operation.


I will be able to purchase the basic equipment absolutely necessary to start. This includes:

1 x Plate Filter with Food Grade Pump that would enable filtering of large quantities of syrup down to 5 microns

(This is important because the syrup is made with a steeping method and the cinchona bark we use comes in a powdered form and clouds the syrup)

1 x Stainless Steel Cooking Pot - 250 litres

1 x Vacuum Powered Bottling machine

3 x Sterile food grade settling barrels

1 x Deep freezer for storage of botanicals

First batch of Ingredients


Now we're talking!

- This will enable me to go all out and get my first shipment of bottles

- A larger cooking pot

- Filtering equipment that will be significantly more powerful and durable enabling faster production

- 1 x labelling machine

- Professionally printed labels

- And a range of other bits and bobs that are required to make my job easier and/or cleaner



- With this additional cash I'll be able to fit out a space with benches and plumbing so I wont be taking over the kitchen 3 times a week in my house

- It will also go towards getting an industrial gas burner and a gas line hooked up to the work space

- Potentially aid my goal of being able to set up a sustainable, organic greenhouse where I can grow majority of my botanicals

- This could also go towards hiring an employee to assist in the hand peeling of citrus and other odd jobs that go into an operation like this

The Challenges

Some of the challenges,

Making a consistently high quality product - my personal challenge is to make the best possible product I can with the finest locally sourced ingredients available. If you're going to do something, do it well! Luckily I have a rather good teacher. The syrup will be made is small batches and carefully monitored for quality control. The bottles will be sterilised without chemicals for your health and good taste. 

Raising capital – the perennial challenge of start-ups! Whilst confident I can get this project going I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word and let your gin savvy friends know about this campaign. Maybe even give it a share on your social media page(s)!

Networking – for this very special occasion I have created a Facebook account which (as I am writing this) has only 3 likes. Please consider jumping to.

on 14th Jun 2016 at 2:31pm. The payment portal is closed now.
AU$5 +Thank you!A big ol' smile after realising you've done your part to support a complete stranger !
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
AU$10 +My word to you!With a $10 pledge, I will personally send you a hand written post card with a fun fact about tonic syrups. You will also go into the draw to win a bottle of KIS - Wild Gin and a 200 ml bottle of Snake Oil (Valued at $100)
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$20 +Come and CelebrateOnly for those prepared to meet in Adelaide, I will be hosting a launching party at one of the many small bars in the local CBD. This entitles you to 1 x Gin and tonic with Snake Oil Tonic Syrup and entry into the venue. Invites will be posted!
3 Chosen | 23 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$25 +Can I tempt you with a drink?1 x 200 ml bottle of Snake Oil Tonic Syrup with a unique label that will have your name hand printed onto the bottle. Only first 20 pledges will get special label.
32 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$40 +A bottle of the good stuff!1 x 500 ml Bottle of Snake Oil Tonic Syrup
10 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$60 +I'd like a G + T please.A combo package including 1 x 200 ml bottle of Wild Gin and 1 x 200 ml bottle of Snake Oil Tonic Syrup. BYO soda water.
10 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$120 +I'd like several G + T's please1 x 700 ml Bottle of KIS Wild Gin + 1 x 500 ml Bottle of Tonic Syrup
14 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$150 +Master Class and Gin BlendingA master class in Gin and Tonic with myself and Jon Lark. Craft your own gin and take home a 100 ml bottle per person as a keep sake with a bottle of Tonic Syrup to match! Adelaide Pledges Only
5 Chosen | 29 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017
AU$200 +All GoneMy first born!The very first bottle of batch one! Comes complete with a custom label and a hand made timber box. Only one available unfortunately but I'll also accompany it with 1 x 200 ml bottle that is not so precious!
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$200 +Whats Cooking?Receive a full sized bottle of gin, a 500 ml bottle of Snake Oil Tonics and be one of the beta testers of a new product that will be released at the end of summer 2017!
4 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017
AU$800 +Mug ShotBe the face of the new product line. After testing of the new mystery product is complete, it will need someone to represent it! We'll also consider any name suggestions provided they are non offensive and have a high degree of wit.
0 Chosen | 1 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017