International Gin and Tonic Day Date in the current year: October 19, 2024

International Gin and Tonic Day Gin and tonic is one of the most famous cocktails in the world, so it is not surprising that there is an entire holiday dedicated to it. International Gin and Tonic Day is celebrated annually on October 19.

A gin and tonic, commonly referred to as G and T in English-speaking countries, is exactly what its name suggests: a mixed drink consisting of gin and tonic water. Interestingly enough, this iconic cocktail originated as a remedy. In the early 19th century, quinine was used as preventive medicine against malaria in British India. British officers didn’t like the bitter taste of quinine and added water, gin (which was part of their rations anyway), lime and sugar to it in order to make the concoction more palatable.

The first commercial tonic water, which contained much less quinine than the antimalarial remedy, became available in the mid-19th century, and gin and tonic became known outside of the British Army. Although the International Bartenders Association does not list the gin and tonic among its official cocktails, probably because of its simplicity, it is still considered a classic.

The ratio of gin to tonic can vary between 1:1 and 1:3 depending on the strength of the gin, personal taste, other ingredients being added to the drink, etc. The cocktail is served in a highball on the rocks (poured over a large amount of ice cubes) and garnished with a wedge or slice of lime. Sometimes lemon is used as an alternative, but several leading gin brands insist that lime should be used whenever possible.

Variations of the gin and tonic with different garnishes and drink mixes are becoming increasingly popular. Alternative garnishes can include basil, black peppercorns, chilies, cucumber, elderflower syrup, ginger, grapefruit, mint, orange peel, rosemary, star anise, strawberry syrup, thyme, and others. Mixers that can be added to the cocktail include lime, lemon or orange juice, grenadine, and even tea!

Gin and tonic is so universally loved that it is available as a pre-mixed beverage in single-serving cans in some countries. The drink has a place in popular culture; for example, it was mentioned in Douglas Adams’s famous book series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

International Gin and Tonic Day was established in honor of a remarkable women named Mary Edith Keyburn, who lived her life to the fullest and passed away at age 95 with a gin and tonic at her bedside. Mary’s family smuggled her favorite cocktail into the hospital where she was spending her last days in a water bottle and served it in a teacup so that no one would notice.

Mary passed away on October 19, 2010, and her family and friends designated her death anniversary to be observed as International Gin and Tonic Day. Celebrate this amazing holiday by going out to a bar with your friends or making yourself a gin and tonic at home. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your drink and share it on social media with the hashtags #InternationalGinAndTonicDay and #InternatioanlGTDay to spread the word about the holiday.

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International Gin and Tonic Day, international observances, gin and tonic, Mary Edith Keyburn, food and drink holidays