World Gin Day: If you hate G&Ts it might be tonic water thats the problem, not the gin

Dont hate the gin, hate the tonic (Picture:

This World Gin Day, its time for an important PSA.

You might think you hate gin, when in fact its tonic water thats the problem.

If youre a hater of G&Ts, have a ponder about why theyre so revolting. If its that they taste so bitter you can barely sip them down, its likely youre finding the tonic impossible to enjoy rather than the gin.

Dont worry, that doesnt mean you have a terribly uncultured palette.

Lots of people cant stand the taste of tonic, and its all down to genetics.

The reason for tonics bitter taste is the presence of quinine, which comes from the bark of the cinchona tree.

Quinine was used as an anti-malarial treatment in the 19th century, so personally I have no idea why people are so obsessed with drinking it.



Research has found that the presence of quinine makes a drink taste horribly bitter to some people and not to others based on variations in their genes; specifically the receptors that respond to bitterness.

Basically, your genes determine whether you can guzzle down tonic water or you cant manage a single gulp.

Researchers from the Monell Center studied 1,457 twins and their siblings, asking them to drink some quinine and rate how bitter it tasted.

They found that those who shared a similar perception of quinine shared the same pattern of DNA, specifically in a region of chromosome 12.

People with a certain type of gene makeup will find tonic water tastes far more bitter.

You might not hate gin, you might just hate tonic
Let go of tonic and you might find your new favourite spirit (Picture: Getty/

Interestingly, theres been research to suggest that those who enjoy drinking bitter tastes are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies, so being unable to drink G&Ts might not be such a bad thing.

Testing whether you dislike gin or tonic is simple. Just try some plain old tonic water and see if it makes you gag.

If it does, choosing a different mixer might mean you can enjoy gin with wild abandon. Hooray.

More: Alcohol

The taste of gin itself varies between concoctions. Gin itself is basically a vodka thats been infused with botanicals, with the predominant flavour being juniper.



Gin can be spicy, floral, more citrus, more earthy. Whatever your preferences, theres likely a gin that will fit your tastebuds – enjoying the tipple is just down to finding the right gin for you and mixing it with stuff you actually like (so, no tonic).

Aldi even sells glittery Parma Violet gin, while Lidl has a fancy pomegranate and rose take, so you can trust us when we say theres a niche gin option out there for you somewhere.

Once youve picked out your booze, you can go ahead and find your signature tonic-free drink. Weve listed three recipes below to get you started, but you can also go simple by experimenting with a mixer of your choice.

We find that gin with sparkling water and an elderflower cordial is pretty lovely.

Gin with ginger ale, also great. The same goes for gin, sparkling water, and some lemon juice. Easy but delightful.

The Gimlet

A gin gimlet
Super simple and oh so refreshing (Picture: Getty)


  • 60ml gin
  • 60ml lime juice cordial
  • Lime wedge

Pour the gin and the lime into a glass filled with ice, add the lime wedge as a garnish.

The Rose Sour

It tastes as good as it looks (Picture: Darwin and Wallace)
It tastes as good as it looks (Picture: Darwin and Wallace)

This twist on a classic whisky or pisco sour is available at No11 Pimlico Road. Traditionally whisky/pisco, lemon juice, sugar and Angostura bitters are shaken with egg white. The egg white adds no flavour just body and a silky smooth textuRead More – Source

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