Gin is it

Almost everyone loves a gin and tonic. The evolution of the drink is a tale that intertwines colonialism, medicinal cures and a round among friends at the bar. It all started in the 18th century when British soldiers stationed in India were combating malaria. Quinine, a bitter compound derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, was known locally for its antimalarial properties but was exceedingly bitter. To make it more palatable, the soldiers mixed the quinine with water, sugar, lime, and of course gin, thus creating the early version of the gin and tonic.

The British East India Company had long been familiar with quinine’s medicinal properties, but it was in the 19th century that tonic water, a carbonated version of quinine water, became widely available. As the British Empire expanded across the globe, the consumption of gin and tonic spread, becoming not just a remedy for tropical diseases but a beloved cocktail enjoyed in far-flung corners of the world. Somewhere it was always gin and tonic time.

In the Victorian era, gin experienced a surge in popularity in Britain, fuelled by the proliferation of distilleries and the ease of access to ingredients like juniper berries and other botanicals. This period also saw the emergence of gin palaces – opulent drinking establishments where the working class could enjoy affordable gin-based drinks.

Gin speakeasy

During the prohibition era in the United States, gin and tonic found its way into speakeasies, where it was enjoyed clandestinely alongside other cocktails. The simplicity of the recipe – gin, tonic water, and a squeeze of lime – made it a favourite among both patrons and bartenders.

In the post-war period, the gin and tonic continued to evolve, with variations incorporating different types of gin and flavoured tonics. Today, it remains a timeless classic, enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world. Its enduring popularity speaks to its versatility, simplicity, and its fascinating history. And CS Drinks is proud to supply the tonic that is needed to complete this story.