On October 19th, International Gin and Tonic Day celebrates one of the world’s most popular cocktails. Despite its immense popularity, it is easy and quick to prepare, taking only a few minutes. Gin tonic is particularly popular in the UK and other countries.
International Gin and Tonic Day was founded in Mary Edith Caburn’s honor by her family and friends. Mary passed away in 2010 on October 19th at the age of 95, with a gin and tonic in hand. As it was her favorite drink, it was secretly brought to her hospital room by pouring it into a bottle of water.
The drink was invented by officers of the British East India Company’s presidential armies (Bengal, Madras, Bombay) in the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. Malaria was a common problem for visiting Europeans and so George Cleghorn, a doctor from Scotland, studied quinine as a remedy. Quinine was taken with tonic, but its bitter taste was unpleasant. To combat this, they added gin, water, sugar, and lime juice to the quinine, creating the gin and tonic.
In 2004, it was found that 12 hours after taking the antimalarial drug created by the officers, the medicinal properties of the quinine were significantly reduced, thus making the cocktail ineffective. Despite this, the drink’s great taste still saw it gain immense popularity.
- Different variations of the cocktail may include orange or lemon juice instead of lime juice, spice syrup, grenadine or plain tea.
- The drink appears in Douglas Adams’ novel “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”.
- In the book “Dr. No”, James Bond gives a detailed description of the preparation of gin and tonic.
How to take part
Every year, International Gin and Tonic Day hosts a virtual gin and tonic party. Attendees from 22 countries have previously taken part in the event and you can post pictures from the party on your social media. On this day, many pubs and bars also offer to try gin and tonic in its various variations. Why not try to make your own James Bond cocktail and treat your friends to it?
When is International Gin and Tonic Day celebrated in 2023?
International Gin and Tonic Day is observed on October 19 each year.