A QUICK NIP OF GIN HISTORY
In 1830, the winning combination of gin and tonic was discovered when troops stationed outside British Colonial India were suffering from malaria. Quinine (a compound from the bark of a cinchona tree) was used as a remedy, but due to the exceptionally bitter taste, gin was added to encourage the sick to drink it. It was from this discovery that gin cocktails arose, and the fizz is thought to be the first of the recipes involving sours lengthened with soda.
The fizz cocktail appeared on the American bar scene in the 19th century and was known as the hometown drink of New Orleans. The first printed record of a gin fizz recipe can be found in an 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide and one of the most famous recipes, the Ramos Gin Fizz is actually named after a New Orleans bar owner, Henry C Ramos, who added orange blossom water and double cream to the drink. Despite its overwhelming popularity in America, the gin fizz fame didn’t reach European shores until the 1950s, at which point it became an instant hit among the upper class.