Gin & Tonic: A brief history

Gin and tonic summer

When you settle in the evening and take that first lingering sip of your Gin & Tonic, do you ever wonder how and why?

Probably not… in fact, you probably don’t even care but we do so we’re going to tell you.

We haven’t lost the plot. We’re talking about the origins of the G&T, of course!

It’s quite a fascinating story and there were plenty of twists (we make no apology for that pun) and turns in the life of the Gin & Tonic.

It’s had an eventful past, from being used as a cure for malaria and scurvy to becoming the ultimate gentleman’s drink in the mid-19th Century.

We won’t go too far back, we’ve already talked about the history of gin in an earlier blog, which you can find here.

This time we’re focusing more on what makes Gin and Tonic the drink we all know and love today.

A malaria cure you say?

Yip, malaria and scurvy were big problems in India and other tropical regions where the famous East India Company plied much of their trade. It was discovered that quinine could be used to prevent and treat the disease. Of course its bitter taste wasn’t great. Enter gin!

British officers in India in the 1800s began to add sugar, water, lime and gin to the quinine tonic and, boom!

They created the greatest thing ever created by man, in our opinion. If it were not for those chaps trying to sweeten their quinine, you would have no NB Gin today! It’s an awful thought, isn’t it?

Gin? Who drinks gin?

The Gin & Tonic never really went away. It was hugely popular through pretty much every decade of the 20th Century but it did have the occasional dip and blip.

Perhaps 20 or so years ago vodka – with the help of some heavy-hitting marketing – began to rule all. Vodka bars were in. Gin, and the Gin & Tonic, were shunted to the back of the bar.

There were still plenty fans of the cocktail – including we at NB Gin – but it just wasn’t trendy. Asking for a Gin & Tonic in a stylish bar wasn’t the thing to do. Many gin lovers kept their gin love as a dirty little secret for the house! But then something changed.

The gin revolution

Over the last 10 years, but especially the last five, the whole world has gone crazy for craft and artisan gin and the Gin & Tonic is once again the drink to enjoy, whether at home or in a bar.

The gin revolution shows no signs of slowing and we’re incredibly proud to be part of it at NB Gin!

It has had its ups and downs over the centuries but the Gin & Tonic has proved that classics never die. Now, we’re off to open the NB Gin and a bottle of Fever Tree Tonic. You should too… don’t forget the ice and garnish!

Chin chin!

You can buy your NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka from our friends at Lockett Bros here.