History of Tonic

In the early 19th century, when big game hunting was still cool and the field of dental hygiene was still in its infancy, the British army seemed to very much enjoy conquering the entire world. At the time however, one of the main obstacles to total world domination was malaria – a disease spread by mosquitos in warmer climates. To combat the effects of malaria, the British soon learned that the prophylactic, malaria-suppressing properties of quinine - found in its natural state in the bark of the Cinchona tree - were without parallel.

Soon enough, cinchona plantations sprang up all across India and the British officers were issued rations of gin (for morale), cinchona bark (to help with symptoms of malaria) and citrus fruit - usually a lime (for scurvy).

In their infinite wisdom, the officers chose not to gulp down the bitter tasting cinchona on its own as they were supposed to, instead choosing to combine their gin, lime and cinchona into one morale-boosting, anti-malarial super potion. Unbeknownst to them at the time, they had just invented the greatest drink in the history of civilisation, the Gin & Tonic.

The Gin & tonic soon became a drink that was synonymous with the British Empire and everything it represented (i.e. lounging about in the sun waiting for something to happen, playing tennis and talking about the good old days). Nowadays, when you hear the term Indian Tonic, it usually refers to a classic-style tonic with robust bitterness, a good dash of sugar and a zesty hit of citrus.

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