“The Gin and Tonic has saved more Englishman’s lives, and minds than all the doctors in the Empire” Winston Churchill
The G&T was was introduced by the army of the British East India Company as in India, and other tropical regions, malaria was a persistent problem. In the 1700s Scottish doctor George Cleghorn discovered that quinine could be used to prevent and treat the disease.
Quinine powder was so bitter that British officials stationed in India and other tropical posts began mixing the powder with soda and sugar, and a basic tonic water was created. The quinine was drunk in tonic water, however the bitter taste was still unpleasant. British officers in India in the early 19th century took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine in order to make the drink more palatable, thus gin and tonic was born. Soldiers in India were already given a gin ration, and the sweet concoction made sense. Since it is no longer used as an antimalarial, tonic water today contains much less quinine, is usually sweetened, and is consequently much less bitter.
So for a drink invented in India it makes perfect sense to serve it with Indian food so we are teaming up with the award winning Curry Leaf Cafe for a night of spicy foods and refreshing gin drinks.
Curry Leaf Cafe opened their first restaurant in Ship Street and then a kiosk at Brighton station serving authentic Indian food. Earlier this year Kanthi and his team also opened the Kemptown Kitchen specialising in Indian street food. Jo and I love Kanthi's cooking and as gin & tonic was invented in India it seemed only sensible to put his food and gin together. Check out our events pages to find out more and book your place. Unfortunately we are limited to just 30 people so don't delay.