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Thread: Gin

  1. #21
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    Correction, the pint is Booth's not Boodles. Tax stamped but open.
    Dane
    I don't drink to excess. But I'll drink to most anything else.

  2. #22
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    Wink

    All this talk about gin got me to make a martini, last night. Bombay Sapphire, Martini & Rossi, and two large stuffed Manzanilla olives. Delicious!

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #23
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    ... and which tonic??

    Given that a cocktail is no better than it's weakest component, discussion on qualities (and of course, brands) of tonic???

    Ken
    "Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary. "

  4. #24
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    Oddly enough I haven't noticed big differences in tonics. What I have noticed is that there is a big difference between tonic bottled in glass as opposed to plastic. I always thought the tonic in glass bottling was far better.


    Alas, finding tonic in a glass bottle at a reasonable price has nearly beome a thing of the past.
    Mark/Nebraska


    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take... but by the moments that take your breath away. 11/25/2004

  5. #25
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    In the same vein as the discussion of caramel, butterscotch, etc. in a recent, bourbon-related thread it just struck me that I have no idea as to the composition of tonic water. I suppose if I were a gin & tonic drinker, I might have been curious enough to look into it before now.

    A search yielded this description of the ingredients and this commentary, which touches on its origin. Obviously, there must be much more to say on the topic of tonic.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  6. #26
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    This article reminded me that the Quinine was used to fight malaria... Still is in doses way higher than they allow in US sodas.

    Ken
    "Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary. "

  7. #27
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    Quinine extract was used in British Colonial and other developing areas to counter certain diseases, as Ken noted malaria was one. In time it was added to spirits, maybe to reduce their adverse effects if taken to excess, or maybe to combine the "healthful" effects. In the 1800's alcohol was still viewed as something which could help the human body physically; this attitude continued in America through the Prohibition era with the concept of medicinal whiskey.

    Gin and tonic was probably always a sweetish drink. Either the tonic water was sweetened early on to moderate the bitterness of the quinine (derived from the bark of certain trees) or the gin was sweet enough on its own. Old Tom was an early style of English gin which was lightly sweetened (and has practically died out although one or two brands may survive here or there). Gin and Tonic became the great drink of Empire, rivalling Scotch whisky. G&T perhaps was more associated than whisky with the hottest parts of Empire such as the Raj and Hong Kong. G&T is still popular in Britain although vodka drinks have probably impacted its popularity. Some have noted here an aversion to London Dry gin. I can't disagree when it is viewed neat but except in the martini, where it is taken almost unmixed, gin is meant to be mixed. A G&T is a great refresher. The variant with bitter lemon is good too. In the 1960's these drinks had great currency in Canada but today much less so. I doubt many people who drink regularly know what bitter lemon is, for example.

    Here's Frederic Martin's typically consise and assured entry for Tonic Water in his Encyclopedia of Drinks and Drinking (circa late 1960's):

    "The increasingly universal additive for gin. Its full title of 'Indian Quinine Tonic Water' indicates its semi-medicinal origins in the full flowering of the British Raj in the last century. The word 'tonic' may not be used in describing it in the U.S.A. Schweppes is the leading brand and the one which put tonic water on the map".

    In his entry on Schweppes - a Swiss merchant who came to England and made his fortune in carbonated waters - Martin notes that the first manufacture of such waters was intended to duplicate the waters of spas, so that (one infers) the benefits available to the wealthy who could travel to and use spas would be available to all who could buy such waters in the small patent medicine bottles in which they were originally sold. Martin states that Scweppes' first shop (this is in the 1700's) was next to a chemist's - a pharmacy, that is. One may further infer that Scweppes sourced the quinine and other additives for his waters at this shop to create his Indian Quinine Tonic Water. Martin was an admirer of Schweppes Tonic, noting that its packaging was often imitated but its taste never was.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 06-22-2006 at 08:49.

  8. #28
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    I remember taking Quinine as prophylaxis for Malaria when my unit was deployed to El Salvador. Every morning we lined up and our commander had to see us take it.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  9. #29
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    I didn't know you were in the service Jeff, what branch, and what kind of unit? Were you infantry?

    Gary

  10. #30
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    I was assigned to the 5010th US Army Hospital out of Louisville, KY. It was, is a M.A.S.H. unit of the US Army Reserve. I was lucky enough, not by design, to get in after the first Gulf war, and out before the second. Mostly we performed humanitarian missions in 3rd world countries of central and south America. I was a combat medic/pharmacy specialist.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

 

 

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