Mixing a drink with tonic water is typically easy. There are plenty of drinks that you can create with tonic water. Light, refreshing, and energizing, tonic mixed drinks can be made with a wide variety of flavors. The possibilities are endless with Australian tonic water. So if you are curious and you want to learn a little bit more about it, then this article is for you.
What Is Tonic Water?
Traditional tonic water is made of carbonated water flavored with quinine. Sometimes sweeteners or fruit acids are added for better flavor because water with a higher quinine concentration tastes bitter. Quinine is extracted from the cinchona tree. This is a South American species, the Greek word “tonikos” which means invigorating and from which the term “tonic” is from.
Quinine And Where It Came From
Quinine that you can buy these days has a long, bizarre, and a bit crazy history. The native people of South America are aware of the healing properties of the cinchona tree bark. The Europeans were the ones who first used it to treat malaria. A story says that in 1638, the Countess of Chinchón was saved by the daughter of a local tribal king and that’s why the tree was named after her.
Around the middle of the 20th century, quinine was the only medicine that worked to treat malaria. People started using it for medicinal purposes. It was first discovered for its health benefits when a Spanish soldier who was sick with malaria fell asleep in a cinchona-lined pond and got better.
First Introduction To Tonic Water
A recipe from 1820 by French chemists Pierre Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou was believed to have been used to get the first almost pure quinine from the tree bark. Then in 1858, the first patent for tonic water was given to a Londoner named Erasmus Bond. Since 1831, Johann Jacob Schweppe had been a supplier to the British royal court.
In 1870, Schweppe made mineral water with quinine and lime. Since then, gin and tonics were first made, around the same time that tonic water was becoming more common. And this was when more cocktails were created with tonic water as one of the most important ingredients.
Tonic Water With Alcohol
Tonic water is naturally fizzy, bittersweet, and sour, which is why it is a great mixer for alcohol. The amount of quinine in tonic water these days is so much lower than it was in the past, making it safe to drink. Not only is it used to add bubbles to the alcohol, but it also gives the drink a unique, subtle flavor. This is why it is an important ingredient of many classic cocktails.