WRITTEN BY Akshat Rathi for qz.com
May 27, 2016
Matthew Hartings hates gin. “Something about that flavor doesn’t sit right with me,” writes Hartings, a professor of chemistry at American University. He also hates tonic. “It is too bitter for me. I just don’t understand how people can drink tonic water.”
But, if you mix the two, you make one of his favorite drinks: the G&T.
The first G&T was made in India. Tonic is nothing but water mixed with quinine and sugar. (Carbonated tonic water came later.) During the Raj, when British soldiers were supposed to ingest very bitter quinine as an anti-malarial, they realized sugar, water, and gin would make it palatable. Quinine was superseded by better anti-malarial drugs, but G&T remained a popular cocktail.
Why does it taste so good?