Although gin and tonic drinks are once again popular in Spain and throughout the rest of the world, the drink actually has a lengthy history tied to Great Britain. Back when the British Empire was expanding its control over a number of various colonies, a number of them were dangerous places to live and visit due to their ongoing outbreaks of malaria.
A brief added history of this drink tracing back to England’s imperial days
Long ago, someone fortunately discovered that the bark from the cinchona tree had an active ingredient in it called quinine powder. This substance has a strong medicinal value and was successfully used to both prevent and treat malaria. Yet quinine powder tasted very bitter, so to
make it more palatable, British officials and others began mixing it with soda and sugar. People then began referring to it as “tonic water” in this form.
To smooth out the flavor of this drink even more during the nineteenth century, someone got the idea to mix tonic water with gin. This is when the classic “gin and tonic” first really caught on. It’s also why some claim that the “gin and tonic” is both a drink and a drug.
Why this drink continues to be fixed so often and still satisfies so many
Stated simply, the “gin and tonic” is probably one of the first drinks many bartenders and fans of alcohol learn to mix. You can rather quickly fix one if you have one or more citrus fruits available that can help enhance the special flavor of the two main substances combined.
Some bars, especially those in Spain today, go to great lengths to prepare truly colorful and aromatic versions of the gin and tonic. They will often decorate the drink, after squeezing one or more citrus fruits into it, with ginger slices, peels of grapefruit – as well as sprigs of rosemary, crushed basil leaves or even lavender.
A basic simple recipe for a gin and tonic that nearly anyone can prepare
- First, you’ll need a tall glass and the best fresh fruit and top alcoholic ingredients you can afford;
- Next, fill the glass with lots of clean ice, carefully swirling the ice around the glass to give it that “chilled” professional look;
- Add two (2) ounces of your best gin – and then slowly add two (2) ounces of a quality tonic water. Professionals recommend pouring the tonic water into the glass down the side so you can create and maintain a special effervescence;
- Now, hold a slice of grapefruit or another choice piece of fruit over the drink and squeeze out part of it into the mix. Next, take the remaining piece of fruit and circle the top of the glass with it before dropping it inside the glass;
- Reach for a spoon now and gently stir your drink.
If you’re uniquely creative, you can easily come up with different ways to use various fruits to further enhance this drink. Some people like to crush some strawberries into the mix while others even include a bit of Thai basil or Kaffir lime leaves.