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.

A good tonic is just the tonic for your NB Gin

Gin and tonic

When it comes to finding the perfect partner for your gin, a really good tonic is, well, just the tonic.

The Gin and Tonic is a match made in a juniper heaven, even the most inexperienced gin lover knows that but there’s plenty to think about when choosing the right tonic.

It’s a basic error that many people make. They spend a lot of time researching the best gins and finally make a decision (the really clever people choose NB Gin, obviously).

But when it comes to the tonic they pop into the supermarket and grab the first brightly-coloured bottle they see. No, no, no!

For NB Gin there is one golden rule that shall never be broken. Absolutely no sugar! Choose only sugar-free tonics. Why? Well, sugar is bossy and obtrusive when it comes to gin. It bullies the subtle flavours of our drink and you end up with a lesser G&T and we don’t want that!

A quality gin demands a quality tonic. It’s that simple. So here are NB Gin’s favourites:

Fever Tree Tonic Water

Fever Tree

These guys are probably our favourite of favourite tonic producers. They have an impressive range of different tonic waters to choose from but for us simple is always best. It’s important to let the gin do the talking and let the tonic do the complimenting.

For that reason, we would always plump for their Naturally Light tonic water. It’s crisp and clean and has natural quinine.

Fever Tree is widely available so there’s really no excuse for not giving it a try with your next NB Gin adventure. The shops will still be open now. Off you dash!

Q Tonic

Q Tonic

The tagline for this fabulous tonic is ‘the world’s best spirits deserve a superior tonic water’. Now, we’re not sure if we mentioned it but NB Gin is now officially the world’s best London Dry Gin, as judged by the World Drinks Awards.

That means this gin could have been made specifically for us. Of course it wasn’t but you get the idea.

It boasts hand-picked quinine from the Andes (yes, honestly) and organic agave from Mexico. Quite special, you’ll agree.

You might struggle to find this particular tonic in UK stores but it is available online so there really is no excuse. You found us because you demand quality, so you should sniff this tonic out too.

thomas-henry-tonic-water

Thomas Henry Tonic Water

This lovely tonic is German – even if it doesn’t sound it – and is quite delicious. Like all of our favourite tonics, it contains no sweetener.

It boasts a very lively yet delicate character and we think it goes fabulously well with NB Gin.

It’s not available to buy in the UK yet, but it will be shortly. As with Q, it is also available online.

So there we have it, three perfect partners for your NB Gin and Tonic. We know how much you love to share your NB Gin photos on our Facebook and Twitter so please, please don’t upset our master distiller by showing his pride and joy next to a sub-standard tonic.

Have a wonderful weekend you beautiful people. Chin chin!