“The idea of elegance and aristocratic indulgence of an ocean cruise was born out of the image of the rich men and women who ruled the British Empire slowly sailing to India and the Far East while sipping gin and tonic on deck – served by men in white jackets”

-Adam Curtis​

19th OCT is celebrated as International Gin and Tonic Day. Gin and Tonics have been substantially a British drink for the longest time. As a stable among the list of amazing cocktails out there, gin and tonics have a high bitterness to it, but it died down with lime and sugar to make it palatable for most people. Whether you order it at a bar or make it at home, gin and tonics deserve their day to be celebrated.​

History of International Gin and Tonic Day

The cocktail idea began during the reign of the British East India Company in India during the 1700’s. Malaria had been roaming around in India and became a problem. To treat Malaria, George Cleghorn, a Scottish doctor, discovered that quinine, a flavor component of tonic water, could be used to treat malaria. However, not many liked the taste.


So, British officers in India in the early 1800’s began adding Water, Sugar, Lime, and Gin to the tonic water, and thus a Gin and Tonic was born. While tonic water isn’t used as an antimalarial treatment, tonic water contains less quinine and is sweeter. As for the gin component of the cocktail, Gin is made explicitly with Juniper berries and was sold in 17th century Holland as a cure for medical issues like Gout, Gallstones and Stomach problems.


From there, gin and tonic became a popularized British drink, one that would even transcend into popular culture. One of the most famous references for this drink was in the movie Dr. No from the James Bond series. Bond talks about one of these drinks in Jamacia, a recipe where you would squeeze a whole lime into the drink itself, making the drink tart and refreshing.


While there are other references in popular culture, Gin and Tonics are considered to be a classic cocktail. Thus, the holiday was formed back in 2011 to celebrate the history of this new drink.

How to celebrate International Gin and Tonic Day

If you’re looking for a great way to celebrate this cocktail, then why not follow this James Bond Gin and Tonic recipe, the one he ordered on the balcony overlooking Kingston Harbour. Take either Beefeater or Gordon’s gin, add any tonic that you prefer, and then add plenty of Angostura bitters and the juice of whole fresh lime if available.

The limes add a unique tartness to the drink that distinguishes itself from any other normal gin and tonic.