April 9th marks National Gin & Tonic Day, so let’s celebrate! A little history on what has become one of America’s favorite drinks:
Gin was first served in Holland in the 17th century as a form of medicine called “Genever” (fun fact: that’s the Dutch word for juniper!). It was distilled using botanicals such as juniper, star anise and coriander seed which were believed to have medicinal properties.
English soldiers consumed the spirit while in Holland fighting against the Spanish in the Thirty Years’ War in hopes of combating illness. They gave it the name “Dutch Courage,” as it would calm their nerves and warm them up before battle.
Tonic has a medical history as well. In the 19th century, British officials stationed in places where malaria was prevalent were using quinine to prevent the disease. Quinine is very bitter so they mixed it with soda and sugar, and from that tonic was created. Today’s tonic contains very little quinine… just enough for a slight bitter flavor.
Our small batch California Gin is distilled with juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cardamom & grains of paradise, giving it a bright and light taste.
Here is a recipe for you and yours to celebrate the day:
2 oz Surf City Still Works California Gin
4 oz Elderflower Tonic Water
Garnish: 2 Lime Wheels
Add the gin to a highball glass over ice. Top with the tonic water and gently stir. Garnish with lime wheel.