Gin & Tonic’s Link to Malaria

It’s always interesting finding out how people came up with the different foods and beverages that we enjoy now.

The story of how the popular Durban meal, Bunny Chow, is one of those. 

Legend states that since apartheid prohibited different races from eating together in the same restaurant, people of colour were given their curry from the back entrances of restaurants and sometimes, through the windows.

But since the roti they served the curry in, always disintegrated, they found that it was easier to serve the curry in hollowed out bread loaves. And so the bunny was born.

The creation of gin and tonic is one of the best accidental food and drink stories. Fever Tree tonics has been running a ‘Raise Your Glass, Erase Malaria’ campaign in May and it made us go back into the story of how gin and tonic became a popular drink.

So during the British Empire’s rule over India, they couldn’t deal with the mosquitoes and they suffered from malaria. As a result,a Scottish doctor, George Cleghorn discovered that quinine could be used to treat malaria.

Quinine is what gives tonic water its bitterness. The soldiers could not get used to the taste and so they took to adding gin to make it a more palatable drink and voila- gin & tonic was born.

imageedit 2 778768351 1 - Gin & Tonic's Link to Malaria
Raise your glass and erase malaria. Picture by Buhle Mbonambi

About the campaign:

From 22nd April – 31st May, Fever-Tree is calling on people across South Africa and the world to join us in raising a glass to malaria’s demise and share the moment on social media.

For every glass raised on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, tagging @FeverTreeMixers and #MalariaMustDie, Fever-Tree will donate £5 to charity Malaria No More.

The initiative is part of the global campaign ‘Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live’ convened by Malaria No More UK on behalf of the global malaria community.

But beware- having gin & tonic will not help you with malaria prevention as there is not much quinine used in tonics like in the 18th and 19th centuries. You will still need to take your malaria medication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *