A Cheap History of The Gin and Tonic

The Gin and Tonic, or its more popular abbreviation of G&T, is a drink that has been around for centuries.

Gin was first made in Holland in the 17th Century in its earlier known form of Jenever. English troops used to be given it to drink to give them “Dutch Courage” and that’s where that term comes from. The English/British people decided to take it back with them to Blighty and make their own, y’know, ’cause the English like to make their own stuff ’cause it’s cheaper that way. (Jenever was already being sold in some chemists by then.)

Tonic water was first “invented” in the 19th Century when quinine powder was handed out to help battle malaria and the British were all like “Bleurgh that’s not very nice” so they added soda water and sugar to it, thus making a bearable version of something that was intended to help save their lives.

Some clever fucker in the British East India Company came to the conclusion that he really liked drinking gin, but he also had to have his dosage of quinine regularly so as not to die. Thus came the birth of the gin and tonic (in its primitive form) which consisted of gin mixed with quinine powder, lime, sugar and water.

Fun Fact: Gin was used to help the tonic water go down, now it’s the other way around. Marvellous.

“We want to stay alive, but we would like to get merrily sloshed in the process.” – An Ironic Made Up Man.

Today you’d have to drink around 20 litres of tonic to even approach malaria treatment, and that isn’t best advised; that’s a lot of gas, it’s the right amount of gin though*.

Wow your friends. Blow their minds. You’re welcome.

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*Drink responsibly and all that, yeah?

IMG: flikrMaggie

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