gin & tonic

THE PERFECT COUPLE Like Antony and Cleopatra, gin and tonic seem destined to be together-liquid soul mates that emit such an alluring chemistry in their slow dance with ice that this couple is recognized around the world, with pure refreshment as their calling card. It's an unlikely marriage to say the least, given tonic's early years abroad battling malaria. Now, happily retired from medicine, tonic is the toast of the town once again, its bitter-sweet and bubbly personality the perfect complement to the botanical perfume of Bombay Sapphire® East. Rare is the couple so deliciously entwined that after centuries together they appear as vivacious as ever, happily joined for eternity.


Fill a tall glass with ice, add the Bombay Sapphire® East, and top up with tonic water. Squeeze the juice from a wedge of fresh lime and add the second lime as a garnish.


Try these simple ways to take this classic cocktail in new directions.
  1. Add a dash of your favorite bitters for aromatic complexity.
  2. In place of lime, add one or more spices that complement Bombay Sapphire® East: peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander.
  3. Add cooling flavors of cucumber spears and fresh mint.
  4. Replace tonic with ginger beer for a London Mule.


1630 Jesuit missionaries in Lima, Peru, document the successful treatment of malaria with the bark of the Cinchona tree. The extract of the bark, called quinine, remains the best antimalarial for the next 300 years, and the key ingredient for the tastiest tonic even today.

1751 The British "gin act" dictates gin can only be sold from premises rented for at least £10 a year, thus eliminating small producers of inferior and illegal gin. The more respectable production and higher quality processes culminate in the creation of the elegant London Dry style of gin.

1940 Sir Winston Churchill is appointed as British Prime Minister. In recognition of the habit of British soldiers of mixing tonic water and gin, he declares, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire."

1958 Fictional British agent James Bond finds himself in Kingston, Jamaica, where he orders "a double gin and tonic and one whole green lime." Bond's tart take on the drink, recounted in Dr. No: Add the squeezed halves of an entire lime, and plenty of ice.

2010 Innovative Spanish bartenders reinvent the gin and tonic, celebrating the nuances of fine gin elevated by premium tonic water. The new Spanish style, served in a balloon glass and garnished with spices, fruits or herbs, becomes the new choice of aficionados around the world.

2014 Bottled tonic meets its match, as a generation of DIY bartenders and sophisticated consumers turn to tonic syrups. When combined with soda water, these syrups make amazing à la minute mixers for gin and tonic. In addition to cinchona bark, many feature botanicals, such as lemongrass and peppercorns, that complement Sapphire East gin.