There is Nothing More Refreshing than a Gin and Tonic

My uncle who was in the Navy and regularly travelled to some of the hottest places in the world would always say ‘there is nothing more refreshing than a Gin and Tonic’.

William Hogarth's engraving Gin Lane, as repro...

William Hogarth’s engraving Gin Lane, as reproduced by Samuel Davenport for his 1807 collection of Hogarth’s works. A response to the Gin Craze that hit London in the 18th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It may be strange to think that what is now classed as a rather sophisticated drink of choice is enjoyed by the armed forces to cool them down, however the combination of gin and tonic is actually something we have the army to thank for.  In India and other tropical regions malaria was a persistent problem, and in the 1700’s it was discovered that quinine could be used to treat the disease, although the bitter taste was unpleasant.  British officers in India in the early 19th century took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine in order to make the drink more palatable. Continue reading