A self-professed foodie and entrepreneur, Joanna Mouming has spent more than a decade in the organic food industry. Today, this New York native, who has lived in Iowa for three decades, is launching her own brand: Joanna’s Premium Tonic Syrups. The tonic syrups come in two flavors—Joanna’s Original and Orange Fennel.
“One day it occurred to me I was tired of drinking overly sweet gin and tonics,” said Mouming, who lives on a lifestyle farm featured in Dwell Magazine with 50 acres of restored prairie near Wellman, Iowa. “I realized there was no nuance to the tonics. Honestly, they just didn’t taste good.”
That prompted Joanna to create her own tonic syrups from scratch using raw citrus juices, spices, real cinchona bark, and other natural ingredients. After perfecting the flavor, she started making the craft tonic syrups in a pot she calls ‘Big Betty’ and still uses today.
In 2018, she introduced the hand-bottled tonic syrups exclusively at farmers’ markets—before she had even developed the brand and marketing for her products.
“It was a great testing ground and showed me that people loved the product,” Mouming said.
“One day it occurred to me I was tired of drinking overly sweet gin and tonics. I realized there was no nuance to the tonics. Honestly, they just didn’t taste good.”
Now in addition to showcasing her products at the Iowa City, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport farmers markets, Joanna’s tonic syrups are popping up in many establishments. Iowa City icons including Pullman Bar & Diner, Bread Garden Market, Goosetown Cafe, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, and Trumpet Blossom Cafe feature Joanna’s. Proof restaurant and Kitchen Collage in Des Moines and The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids also carry her tonic syrups.
The positive response inspired Joanna to open a commercial kitchen in Iowa City, where she’s hiring staff to help with production, labeling, and distribution. “It’s an exciting time,” Mouming said. “We are just getting started, but it has been so wonderful to see the outpouring of support for the brand.”
Joanna is no stranger to the food industry. She worked at both Kalona SuperNatural and Frontier Herbs—two leaders in the food industry. During that time, she recalls having her palette tested. “I never knew there was a thing called a perfect palette,” Mouming said. “But apparently mine is about as close as it comes. It’s the reason I’m using the tagline, ‘She has a way with ingredients.’
“It’s an exciting time … it has been so wonderful to see the outpouring of support for the brand.”
A friend’s son coined the phrase when he attended a farm-to-table dinner Joanna hosted. “He immediately got that I’m truly all about the ingredients,” she said.
As craft cocktail and mocktail culture continues to grow across the nation, Joanna wanted to bring a high-quality, premium product to market.
“I realized I could make these tonics and provide easy-to-follow recipes that allow anyone to mix great drinks,” Mouming said. “And you can use them with everything from gin to really any spirit in your liquor cabinet, including vodka, prosecco, tequila, and wine. So it’s popular with both those who want to follow a recipe all the way over to mixologists who want to add their own touch.”
What Others are Saying
Read what other cocktail lovers think about Joanna’s.
The Orange Fennel Gin & Tonic is one of our new favorite cocktails at home. Great unique flavor profile and refreshing!Marc H.
Joanna’s Premium Tonic Syrups make an ordinary person feel like a fancy mixologist. The easy-to-follow instructions combined with the beautiful appearance and refreshing taste make Joanna’s Gin and Tonic my go-to cocktail.Elizabeth H.