Why Does Gin and Tonic Taste So Good?

Gin O’Clock

Why Gin and Tonic Tastes So Good is not just down to your imagination; gin and tonic actually taste better together, than apart.

The pair being greater than the sum of their individual parts, thanks to their chemical makeup. Apparently your nose, mouth and brain are wired to light up when they encounter the cocktail (according to Science).

– The first G&T was made in India

Tonic essentially 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 worked out that sugar, water and gin would made it more palatable. Quinine was superseded by more advanced anti-malarial drugs, but G&T still remained a popular cocktail.

Why Does Gin and Tonic Taste So Good?

The answer is in the underlying chemistry.

Apparently chemicals responsible for the flavours in gin and in tonic, although different from each other, nonetheless come in two kinds of broadly similar chemical structure.  Gin has a wide variety of these chemicals, compared to tonic’s quinine. It’s the combination here that’s important.

Predominant Flavour Of Gin

Gin is an alcohol that gets its predominant flavour from juniper berries, but the drink can be made in a variety of ways and has many different profiles.

Gin can be consumed on its own, with ice or combined with other ingredients.  It is often also made into cocktails.  Some of the most popular gin-based drinks are the gin & tonic and gin martinis, but there are a variety of ways you can enjoy this now very popular spirit.

How To Serve A Gin And Tonic

The question of how best to serve a gin and tonic has become a hot topic of conversation, after an expert controversially claimed that the popular drink should be served without a lemon or lime garnish.  Contrary to what many may have been led to believe.

Gin and tonics were always traditionally garnished with a slice (or wedge) of lime, often slightly squeezed into the drink before being placed in the glass.  In most parts of the world lime remains the only usual garnish.  However, in the United Kingdom it has become common to use lemon as an alternative fruit, possibly due to lemons being more readily available or cheaper to purchase than limes.

“A thickly cut lemon slice works well to bring out the citrus notes already present in the gin without overpowering the other flavours,” explained Tony Conigliaro, drinks expert for Schweppes.

How Much Ice?

It is recommended to use plenty of ice when making a gin and tonic, as the ice supposedly melts at a slower rate when there’s more of it in the glass, thus keeping your drink nice and cold for longer.



Whichever gin you choose to drink and in whichever way you serve it, may we, at Mulberry’s Bar @ The Chequers, wish you a super Gin O’Clock evening!

How do you drink yours?