A Short History of Gin & Tonic

The History of Gin & Tonic

To celebrate the new launch of our Gin & Tonic Chocolate Bar range, we thought we would look a little bit deeper into the history of Gin & Tonic; where did the phenomenon come from, and why does it work so well? There are a few of us at Choccy HQ that love a G&T on a Friday night, so we were all quite keen to know why everyone is raving about this divine combination.


Gin is thought to have been first discovered by Dr. Slyvius de Bouve in Holland during the 16th Century (we commend you Dr Slyvius) – and was first used as a medicinal to treat and aid circulation. When it made it’s way to the UK, people started to drink gin, and the popularity of the beverage began from then. In the beginning, it was actually thought of as a gentlemen’s drink.


In 1750, the ‘Gin Craze’ began – Londoners were supposedly consuming over 11 million gallons of gin that year, and Gin shops began to take over the streets. The Gin Act was was enforced the following year, that was meant to reduce the consumption of gin; however, the illegal selling of ‘Old Tom Gin’ (a sweeter style of gin) started to increase, which soon lead to the making of cleaner, higher quality gins such as ‘London Dry Gin’; this gin is much more floral due to the botanicals used during the distilling process.


The love of Tonic came about it a fairly different way, originating from India. Brits who travelled to India would suffer quite badly from illnesses such as Malaria; and the drug used to treat this at the time was called Quinine. However, to make it easier to take, it would be mixed with sugar and water; and this beverage is now known as tonic water!


The combination of the two arose when people who found gin to be too bitter would add tonic to make it slightly sweeter. And look where we are today – flavoured gins, gin cocktails and now Gin & Tonic chocolate!


About Lisa Bone

Design & Marketing Associate for Choc affair. I am 23 years old and live in the beautiful city that is York! I love baking and creating new recipes for the Cocoa Corner. My favourite chocolate just has to be our Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate - it's extremely more-ish - so I have to be careful if there's any about!