The 9th of April is National Gin & Tonic Day in the U.S.
You could designate this your first Gin and Tonic cocktail (aka G&T) of the summer!
Okay, it’s not summer yet in the Northern Hemisphere… and yes, okay, it’s just barely spring, but still the days are longer, and that’s something to “cheers” to!
If you are in Australia or New Zealand, you can enjoy a G&T outside on a late summer day there at this time of year.
What type of gin do you like in your G&T? London, Dutch, Plymouth Gin or something else entirely?
And what about the tonic water? Regular, or diet?
A Gin and Tonic cocktail was originally meant to be seen as a treatment for malaria owing to the quinine in the tonic water:
“In the 1700s a Scottish doctor, George Cleghorn, discovered that quinine could be used to treat malaria. This quickly led to tonic water being drunk by British soldiers stationed in India to fight malaria. But as you may know, tonic water is quite bitter. So, in the 1800s, soldiers took to adding first gin, and eventually lemon and lime to their tonic water, to hide the bitter flavour, thus inventing the classic (and my favourite!) gin and tonic.” McVean, Ada. Did you know that malaria spawned the gin and tonic? McGill University, Office for Science and Society. 27 September 2018. Accessed March 2021 at https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/malaria-reason-behind-gin-and-tonic
There’s probably zero quinine now in any tonic water you will be able to get hold of, but there’s a ton of sugar that’s been added in its place. Most people don’t realize how high in sugar tonic water is now — the bitter notes in the beverage are deceptive. You can, though, get lower-calorie and sugar-free tonic waters if you look for them.
In any event, minus the quinine (which you probably didn’t need anyway outside the tropics), and with the added sugar, plus the alcohol, it’s probably best now to ignore any health claims attributed to a Gin and Tonic — and just enjoy one in its own right for its own sake!
And don’t forget the garnish. What do you prefer as your garnish: a lemon wedge or a lime wedge? A slice of orange?
#g&tday #GinandTonicDay #NationalGinAndTonicDay
See also: Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge (discoverer of quinine), Gin, Tonic Water, Quinine, International Gin & Tonic Day, World Gin Day
Activities for today
- Try a different gin from your usual;
- try a craft gin from a local craft distillery;
- try adding some bitters, maybe grapefruit or mint;
- have some friends round for a G&T, offering a selection of ingredients for them to make their own;
- head out to your favourite neighbourhood watering hole with friends for a G&T.
If you miss National Gin and Tonic Day in the US today, don’t worry: the 19th of October is International Gin & Tonic Day in the, well, world! (Note: some people confuse the two dates, but we dug deep to verify the distinction.)
Literature and Lore
“Bond ordered a double gin and tonic and one whole green lime. When the drink came he cut the lime in half, dropped the two squeezed halves into the long glass, almost filled the glass with ice cubes and then poured in the tonic. He took the drink out on to the balcony, and sat and looked out across the spectacular view.” — Ian Fleming, Dr No.
Bell, Katie Kelly. Celebrate National Gin And Tonic Day With Four Delicious Small-Batch Gins. Forbes Magazine. 19 October 2019. Accessed March 2021 at https://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2017/10/19/celebrate-national-gin-tonic-day-with-four-delicious-small-batch-gins/#3d3a44f21e1f
Crouthamel, Joshua. Celebrate National Gin & Tonic Day. Metro US. 9 April 2018. Accessed March 2021 at https://www.metro.us/lifestyle/food-and-drinks/celebrate-national-gin-tonic-day
Daniels, Chris. International Gin & Tonic Day: The classic cocktail gets a makeover. Hello Magazine. 7 April 2016. Accessed March 2021 at https://ca.hellomagazine.com/cuisine/02016040425069/international-gin-tonic-day-cocktail-makeover-reds-tavern
Diffords Guide. It’s International Gin and Tonic Day. Accessed March 2021 at https://www.diffordsguide.com/on-this-day/october/19
Pathak, Sophia. International Gin & Tonic Day: 7 surprising health benefits of drinking gin. London, England: Evening Standard. 19 October 2017. Accessed March 2021 at https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/foodanddrink/is-gin-good-for-you-7-surprising-health-benefits-of-drinking-gin-for-world-gin-day-a3268481.html
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