The evolution of how the gin & tonic came to be

IMG_0574 Drink + Lime & Lemon Wedges CMYK


1500s – A Dutch physician, Sylvius de Bouve, infuses a base spirit with the essential oils of juniper berries. Gin is born.

1688 – Dutch born William of Orange becomes King of England. Gin crosses the channel to England.

1700s – Gin production in England increases as hefty import duties on French spirits such as Brandy decreases their popularity.


1600s – The virtues of quinine are discovered by Europeans. The Spanish Countess of Chincon becomes ill while in Peru. Locals give her ground bark of the native Quinquina tree and she recovers. The tree is renamed Chincona and medicinal properties of quinine are discovered.

1700s – Quinine is used to fight malaria in India.

1800s – In the early 19th century, British soldiers in India began mixing quinine with water and sugar to make a more palatable drink. Tonic is born.

1800s – A slice of lime is added to their tonic, as citrus fruits were known to fight off scurvey. This gives way to the “limeys” nickname given to British sailors.

Gin & Tonic

1820s – British officers in India begin mixing their daily ration of quinine, with water and gin. The first Gin & Tonic is served.

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