The Surprising Truth About Tonic Water: 6 Must-Know Facts
If you’re a fan of gin and tonic, you may be surprised to learn that tonic water has a fascinating history and some unexpected properties. Here are six must-know facts about tonic water:
#1 Tonic Water Was Originally A Prophylactic
Tonic water was originally created by dissolving quinine, a natural white crystalline alkaloid, which has been used for centuries as a prophylactic against malaria and a treatment for various illnesses. While today’s tonic water has only a minimal dose of quinine that provides the signature tart flavor, many of the medicinal properties are still intact.
#2 Gin Makes Tonic Water Palatable
Unlike most mixers that enhance the flavor of alcohol, gin was actually added to tonic water by the British East India Company in India to make it more palatable. Along with lime and sugar, gin remains a popular ingredient in the iconic gin and tonic cocktail. While sugar is already added to tonic water, some gin brands use lemon or cucumber slices instead of lime.
#3 Tonic Water Today Can Be Hard To Find
Although most grocery stores carry tonic water in their mixer section, it’s not always easy to find. Liquor stores that sell gin typically carry tonic water as well, but there isn’t a lot of competition among brands.
#4 Tonic Water Is as Bad For You as Soda
While tonic water may seem like just water, it contains a surprising amount of sodium and sugar. A 12-oz can of tonic water contains 44 mg of sodium and 32g of sugar, making it about as unhealthy as soda. The calorie count in tonic water is 124, compared to 138 calories in an average can of soda.
#5 Tonic Water is Fluorescent
Quinine is a fluorescent ingredient that causes tonic water to glow under UV light. While it can be hard to notice under sunlight, tonic water will definitely glow when exposed to UV (black) light.
#6 Tonic Water Nutritional Facts
For those concerned about nutritional values, one should look at the nutritional facts of tonic water. The table shows the amount of nutrition one can get from tonic water based on 2000 calories diet.
It’s clear that tonic water has a rich history and a variety of unique properties. Whether you’re a fan of the classic gin and tonic or just looking for a refreshing mixer, tonic water is worth trying. Just remember to drink it in moderation, as it can be as unhealthy as soda.