Our life is changing daily, our habits not yet formed to the "new normal", and many of us really are not willing to accept this. But despite the headlines of illness, and hurt, we are seeing glimmers of hope and restoration, specifically from the family of medicines we already have in trade. Many of these medicines have a botanical origin. And that was very apparent this April when tonic water had a moment. A viral video stating tonic water is good to drink now, as a means to help off-set the risk to Covid-19, set off a buying panic. Unfortunately, that has not been proven, but we were happy to serve many new customers in their quest to find tonic water.
All of this boom or bust does make us pause. Tonic was one of the earliest "medicines" incorporated into an alcoholic drink. The tonic tinctures issued to the British Army back in WW1 contained natural quinine, and served as a means to protect them from the effects of malaria. The bitter taste was tolerated with a shot of gin. In 1858, the first commercial tonic water was produced with sparkling water. The bitter taste was enjoyed, and of course, mixed with gin. Americans came to love tonic water during WWII, and those once stationed in England brought back that thirst to the States. The tonic water of the 1950's and '60s became a infamously bitter drink, but because of the heavy level of sweeteners, it was enjoyed with gin or vodka.
However, now things have changed again. Top Note founders appreciate the botanical past of this fascinating beverage, and the respect for flavor and balance. Our Classic Tonic, 100% bittered with natural quinine, shows how lime forward the flavor is. We recommend drinking it as a stand-alone beverage with a splash of lime or lemon juice for a highly refreshing drink!
Read more about tonic in this fabulous book.
And please drink tonic for flavor, bitters and enjoyment. A bit of botanical history is good to remember with that G&T in hand.