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Often the best things in life are discovered by accident or come to us in an indirect method. The universally known cocktail the Gin and Tonic had its origins in the malarial jungles of India and now finds its way to bars around the world.
If you have ever tasted tonic water on its own it is a bitter concoction unpalatable on its own except to those with blunted taste buds.. Hundreds of years ago, in the mid 1500’s Jesuit missionaries in Peru discovered the Quecha natives using the bark of tree in their medicines as a cure-all for the shivers brought on my fever. Flash forward to India more than two hundred and fifty years later when British troops stationed there. Malarial fever carried by mosquitoes was decimating the ranks. Doctors were prescribing the quinine but it was not an easy dose to swallow because of its very bitter taste. Enter lime, sugar and gin. Soldiers combined gin, lime and sugar with the quinine and tada – the gin and tonic was born and the British were able to take over the Indian sub-continent
Today in most of the world, malaria has been eradicated and quinine is still in the medicine chest. It is still prescribed for some medical conditions. For the cocktail purveyors, quinine flavouring is still used in tonic water which allows us to create the gin and tonic.
My Personal G&T recipe
2 oz dry London gin
3 oz tonic water
A dash , or two of lime juice
And 1 tsp of sugar
For fun variations try different gins and different citrus flavourings (orange, grapefruit, or lemon)
Drink up…and enjoy.