Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink made by dissolving quinine in water. Contrary to what some might think, it has no nutritional value and was initially used as a preventive measure for malaria.
Peruvians, Bolivians, and Ecuadorians gave this recipe to the Spanish people in the 17th century. The Spanish extracted quinine from the bark of Cinchona trees found in south and central America, Caribbean islands, and the west coast of Africa.
In the 19th century, a mix of quinine with soda and sugar called bitter tonic water was recommended to British officials and soldiers to fight malaria.
Soda have a bitter taste?
- A. True
- B. False
Later, the British colonial mixed the drink with gin to enhance its taste.
The first commercial tonic water, invented by Pitt & Co., Erasmus Bond, was introduced in 1858. “Oriental Sporting Magazine” first mentioned Gin & Tonic in 1868, and defined it as a refreshing cocktail rather than a medicine.
Tonic water benefits
People believe that intake of tonic water prevents leg cramps and restless legs, but there is no proof of it. Although not harmful, drinking it too much may increase calories; a hundred grams of tonic water contains 34 calories.
Tonic Water vs Soda Water
Soda water is a carbonated drink that includes water and carbon dioxide under pressure without flavor and sweetness. Salt and other minerals are added later. Though both are similar refreshing drinks, tonic water has a bitter taste.
Tonic Water Side Effects:
Consumption of tonic water may lead to:
- Stomach cramps
- Ringing in the ears
A few serious side effects are:
- Bleeding problems
- Kidney damage
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Severe allergic reaction
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Eye issues
- Lung toxicity
- May affect fetus
Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water is blended with spring water and eight aromatic botanical oils including marigold extract and a bitter orange from Tanzania. It contains the highest quality of quinine collected from the Congo border.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the amount of quinine in beverages at 83 parts per million.
Tonic water is a delightful beverage, used in mixed drinks like cocktails. But it is not a healthy drink because it contains sugar and has no nutritional value. It is not evident that tonic water treats malaria and excessive intake may lead to health issues.