August in Barcelona can be very hard, the heat is stifling and it feels overriding to have soft drinks. Tonic is one of the most cooling drinks as well as being one of the main ingredients of the most delicious cocktails and mixed drinks.
Tonic is a carbonated soft drink flavored with quinine, an alkaloid extracted from the cinchona plant. The name, “tonic”, was taken by medical properties discovered in the drink: digestive and nervous tonic effects, antipyretic, analgesic and… ¡antimalaria! Let’s discover the origin of tonic.
Indeed, the drink created with extracts of cinchona was a source of medical wisdom of the indigenous people of Peru, and there is historical evidence that in 1638, the Viceroy of Peru, was cured of malaria with an infusion of this bark. On his return to Spain, he brought many cinchona bark and introduced it in court. Spain then began a slow but solid cinchona monopoly production, already in Europe were beginning to use it as the main ingredient for the official remedy for malaria.
In the nineteenth century, England and Netherlands chartered expeditions to collect seeds in Latin America and introduced the cinchona in their colonies, thus skipping the Spanish monopoly. After numerous failed attempts, they managed to implant it in Netherlands Java, thanks to Charles Ledger seeds.
Tonic, as we know, was born when the traditional formula of carbonated water and quinine were added citric acid and sugar, mitigating the potent bitter taste of quinine. The technological advances of the emerging chemical industry of the late nineteenth century to the twentieth century made it possible, and the proportion of quinine is currently very low, as it was discovered that doses of the traditional formulation, had adverse effects.
There are plenty of delicious cocktails that require the presence of tonic. Sure come quickly to mind GinTonic but there are many more: Mojito, Tequila Tonic, the Love Flour, Blood Momo … Simone Guido, our World Class bartender has exclusive own creations with tonic that will shake your palate , we await you in BonaVida!