Happy Hour: Gin & Tonic

Sure, we all drink this classic cocktail, but do you know the history behind it?

It all goes back to the early 1800’s in India. Malaria was a major issue at the time, spreading all through the army of the British East India Company. It was discovered that quinine, one of the main ingredients in tonic water, could be used to treat and prevent the disease. With tonic water being so bitter, the army decided to mix it with a bit of water, sugar, lime, and gin so that the tonic would be more palatable. Soldiers at the time already received a gin ration, so it was an easy way to eliminate the spread of the disease any further. One thing led to another and the drink became quite famous.

Popular in the spring and summertime, gin and tonics are a great pair with a lot of foods thanks to the effervescence of the tonic and the palate cleansing notes of the gin. The garnish is a heavily debated topic of conversation, with most believing that a lime is the right choice. However, if you’re drinking with Beefeaters gin, many prefer an orange to compliment the gin’s botanicals. If Hendrick’s is your choice, a cucumber is a popular choice as a garnish. As always, it comes down to preference. If you prefer the taste of lemon to lime, obviously choose lemon.

If you already love this classic, you probably have it at your home bar ready to go. If you’re new to it, here’s what you’ll need:

1.5 oz Gin

1.5 oz Tonic Water

Pour them both over ice into a highball glass, garnish according to preference.


header image via chowhound.com

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