All You Need To Know About Tonic Water

The origin of tonic water is a fantastic tale; the drink was created out of necessity rather than curiosity; as it is with a lot of inventions.

Tonic water was first made by British soldiers. In the 19th century, British Soldiers sought a way to consume the extremely bitter malaria antidote, quinine. They mixed quinine with water and soda to make it taste better. It, however, was still too better to consume, and they found a solution to this by adding gin. Going by this, the British army invented the tonic water.

In following years, 1858 in particular Erasmus Bond carried out the first commercial production of tonic water. In 1878, 20 years after that, Jacob Schweppe began production of Schweppes Indian Tonic.


Quinine is a well-known medication used to treat malaria. It is, however, no longer recommended as a result of its numerous side effects. Quinine was gotten for the first time from the bark of a Peruvian Cinchona tree around 1630. The Cinchona tree is native to South and Central America, and can also be found in West Africa and the Caribbeans. Back then, it was used to treat fever before its potency for malaria was discovered.

Quinine played a massive role during the second world war, as it was used in treating many soldiers. The last American plane which was taken over by the Japanese after flying out of Philippines was said to have carried about four million quinine seeds.


An interesting take on the importance of quinine to soldiers can be taken from Sir Winston Churchill's statement:

''Gin and tonic have saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the empire''.

Medicinal Benefits Of Quinine

The primary use of quinine is for malaria treatment, although as a result of its numerous side effects, this was discontinued. It is still used in small quantities alongside newly discovered malaria antidotes.

Quinine also acts as a food additive, giving tonic water its bitter and unique taste.

Reports have also claimed that it is used to treat cramps.


Uses Of Tonic Water

• Mixer: Tonic water is one of the most common mixers around the world. It forms the classy gin and tonic duo, and can also be mixed with vodka. It is also used for mixing cocktails.

• Cramps: Some have claimed that tonic water treats restless legs and cramps. This will, however, require the consumption of a high volume of tonic, as its quinine content is around 83mg per litre. The recommended daily consumption between 500mg and 1000mg per litre.

• Other Uses: According to research, tonic can be used to water plants and remove cloth stains as well.

Tonic water has a long and rich history remaining widely relevant since the 19th century. Gin and tonic is a standard fixture in bars and clubs, as well as cocktails at dinners and parties.