A gin and tonic is a highball cocktail made with gin and tonic water poured over ice. It is usually garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. The amount of gin varies according to taste. Suggested ratios of gin to tonic are between 1:1 and 1:3.
The drink is a particular phenomenon as its taste is quite different from the taste of its constituent liquids which are rather bitter. The chemical structures of both ingredients are of a similar molecular shape and attract each other, shielding the bitter taste.
- 25ml. Hendrick's Gin
- 125ml. Tonic Water
- 10ml. Lime Juice
- 2 Lime Wedges
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
- Pour Gin, tonic water and lime juice into the glass.
- Using a jigger, measure 25ml Gin, 125ml tonic water and 10ml lime juice into the glass.
- Garnish with lime wedges
The cocktail was introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India. In India and other tropical regions, malaria was a persistent problem. In the 1700's it was discovered by Scottish doctor George Cleghorn that quinine could be used to prevent and treat the disease. The quinine was drunk in tonic water, however the bitter taste was unpleasant. British officers in India in the early 19th century took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine in order to make the drink more palatable, thus gin and tonic was born. Soldiers in India were already given a gin ration, and the sweet concoction made sense. Since it is no longer used as an antimalarial, tonic water today contains much less quinine, is usually sweetened, and is consequently much less bitter.
Gin and tonic is a popular cocktail during the summer. A 2004 study found that after 12 hours, "considerable quantities (500 to 1,000 ml) of tonic water may, for a short period of time, lead to quinine plasma levels at the lower limit of therapeutic efficacy and may, in fact, cause transitory suppression of parasites". This method of consumption of quinine was impractical for malaria prophylaxis, as the amount of drug needed "can not be maintained with even large amounts of tonic". The authors conclude that it is not an effective form of treatment for malaria.