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Gin and tonic

Drugs & Medication

Gin and tonic

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A gin and tonic made with Beefeater gin, sans lime garnish.
A gin and tonic made with Beefeater gin, sans lime garnish.

A gin and tonic, is a cocktail made with gin and tonic water, usually garnished with a slice of lime and served over ice. The ratio of gin to tonic water varies from equal amounts to one part gin for every three parts tonic.



This cocktail was introduced by the British in India. Tonic water contains quinine, which was used to prevent malaria. Because the tonic water consumed to prevent malaria in the 19th century was extremely bitter, gin was added to make it more palatable. Although there is less medical use today for the consumption of tonic water, the gin and tonic remains a popular drink. Tonic water available today contains less quinine and is consequently less bitter (usually sweetened). Because of this connection to warmer climates and its refreshing nature, this cocktail is more popular during the warmer months.

Lore has it that the sheer quantity of limes (for the prevention of scurvy) and quinine (for the aforementioned prevention of malaria), was so unpalatable that the only way to get the members of the British Army to consume the prescribed amount was with the addition of gin. [[1]]

In popular culture

The gin and tonic has gained a central place in cultural and literary life, appearing as a bit part in numerous novels. One such example is in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, where it is stated that eighty-five percent of the races in the galaxy have each independently developed drinks that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently (such as jynnantonnyx), and which bear no resemblance to one another other than the pronunciation of the name. The reason for this is one of the great mysteries of the universe.

The gin and tonic was the usual drink of Bertie Wooster when he was in need of refreshment or, more often, fortification to help face the many problems that cropped up in his life.

It was the preferred drink of Mrs. Slocombe (played by Mollie Sugden) of Are You Being Served?, as she couldn't bear neat gin.

British singer Nik Kershaw's 1983 hit song I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me includes the line "Forty winks in the lobby, make mine a g&t."

In Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's song You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three Tonight (Baby) "a gin and tonic sounds mighty mighty good to me."

In the episode of The Simpsons entitled Flaming Moe's, Moe the bartender looks at a chart of cocktail drinks and says, "Gin and... tonic? Do they mix?"

In the Barenaked Ladies song "Alcohol" it is mentioned in the lyric "A malibu and coke for you, a g&t for me."

The Spiritual Beggars song "Angel of Betrayal" includes the lyrics "Gin and Tonic rules/Blood on the floor/Burn marks from cigarettes/My throat pleads for more".

Oasis' 1994 debut single "Supersonic" features the lyric "I'm feelin' Supersonic, give me gin and tonic."

It was the preferred drink of fictional character John Constantine from the comic series Hellblazer.

It is featured in the Ramones song "Somebody put something in my drink" in the line "Tanqueray and tonic/ my favorite drink/ I don't like anything/ colored pink"

It is referenced in Billy Joel's famous song "Piano Man" in the line "There's an old man sitting next to me/ making love to his tonic and gin"

Reverend Horton Heat have a song named "Gin and Tonic Blues" and the lyrics are just: "I need a Gin'n'Tonic water, baby/Gin'n'Tonic water feelin' better/Give me a Gin'n'Tonic/Gin'n'Tonic/I need it now! (repeat many times)"

Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of The Libertines are both very fond of gin. Carl has written a song called 'Gin And Milk' and Pete has written one called 'Gang Of Gin'[citation needed]. Pete sings about "met two fellas over gin and mixers" in the song "La Belle Et La BÍte" and "Well, I'll confess all of my sins after several large gins" in "Music When The Lights Go Out".

Adam Sandler references it in "The Chanukah Song" in the line "Drink your gin and tonic-ah and smoke your marijuani-kah"

Similar Drinks

Sometimes gin is mixed with Sprite, 7up or even ginger ale and garnished with lemon or lime. The sweeter soft drinks are sometimes preferred to tonic water. Although none of these are actually a gin & tonic, they are sometimes called so.

Sometimes apple juice or apple schnapps can be added to a gin and tonic. This is referred to as a GTA or Grand Theft Auto.

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