The Gin and Tonic, the cocktail that started my love. The G&T is so utterly simple that a lot of people, I would hazard to guess, wouldn’t even classify it as a cocktail, rather a simple mixed drink that you pound back to get buzzed. I on the other hand will expound that a well made G&T is truly a thing of beauty. Introduced by the Army of the British East India Company, the Gin and Tonic was originally consumed for the quinine contained in the tonic water.
Quinine was the first effective treatment for malaria discovered and was in use as early as the 17th century. In addition to its antimalarial properties it is also a fever reducer, painkiller and can reduce inflammation. The story goes that due to its very bitter taste gin was added to quinine tonics in order to make them more palatable, and thus, the Gin and Tonic was born. So why is it then that this cocktail of medicinal wonder has been relegated to the lowly position of buzz inducer?
I think the primary reason for this is people don’t give this cocktail’s ingredients and their proportions enough thought. Although the ingredient list is very short, there is a surprising amount of variability held within. This week we’re going to take a look at each of these key players and make some suggestions on how you can elevate this cocktail back to the place it rightly deserves.
Gin and Tonic (Difford's Guide #7)
2 oz Gin Tonic Water Lime Wedge for Garnish
1) Add gin to an ice filled Collins glass 2) Top with tonic water 3) Run lime wedge around rim of glass 4) Squeeze lime into drink and drop in