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Gin and Tonic -- A Fascinating History

Gin and Tonics were first introduced by the British East India Company in India. Here, many of the locals and soldiers were being plagued with Malaria, especially in the tropical regions, when they discovered that quinine (tonic) was a great preventative as well as treatment for the disease. Quinine, at the time, did not taste good, so in the 19th century British officers added a combination of sugar, water, lime and gin to make it taste better. Soldiers were given a ration of gin by the British Government, so adding the quinine mixture (tonic) was an easy way to enjoy their drink and protect themselves against malaria.

Today there is much less quinine in tonic so it is not a suitable treatment for malaria, just incase some of you are hoping to forgo your malaria shots/pills for your next trip. Today’s tonic is much sweeter than its original counterpart, but still holds a fascinating history.

Gin and tonics, for those of you who have not had them are made more to taste than with an actual recipe. Suggested options I found were 1:1 1:2 or 2:3. Personally I love the taste of Gin, so a 1:1 or 2:1 of gin to tonic is my preferred ratio. If you like something a little lighter with more flavor opt for the 2:3.

For those of you still hoping to fight off Malaria on your next trip with an outrageous amount of G and T’s please give contact us at 920.236.7777 or

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