The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

Tonic water — from medicinal mixer to cocktail art form

Gin and tonic – as synonymous with expat life in the tropics as a nice cup of tea is with life in Britain, or as mint julep with the Kentucky Derby.

While specialty gins have raised a once-medicinal drink to the status of gourmet cocktail, tonic water has always been the inferior half of this partnership.

Not any more.

Fever-Tree, based in Shepton Mallet, England, produces Indian tonic water from only high-quality, natural ingredients, by

 blending fabulous botanical oils with spring water and the highest quality quinine from the fever tree

The company’s philosophy – that it’s pointless to drown an exquisite gin with mediocre tonic – is gaining ground with consumers, particularly those in Spain where there is already a rapidly growing market for premium gins.

Spain’s use of Fever-Tree’s tonic water doesn’t stop at the highball glass, however. According to the Financial Times, chef Ferran Adrià of the El Bulli restaurant near Roses even made a soup from it.

For expats in Spain who are upholding the tradition of early evening G&Ts, things can only get better.

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2 responses to “Tonic water — from medicinal mixer to cocktail art form

  1. Kym Hamer March 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    A G&T on a sunny afternoon…I always thought of that as quintessentially British?

    • The Displaced Nation Team March 28, 2011 at 3:36 am

      According to Wiki: “The mixed drink gin and tonic originated in British colonial India when the British population would mix their medicinal quinine tonic with gin to make it more palatable.” Hence the full name for tonic — Indian Tonic Water.

      It’s just one of the traditions that came from India to Britain with returning British colonials — others include kedgeree (although it’s possible that first originated in Scotland before reaching India) and the word ‘Tiffin.’ In colonial India, tiffin was a light meal. However, I have a recipe for a wonderful biscuit-toffee-raisin-chocolate confection, also called Tiffin, which I’d take in place of a light meal, any day.

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