The Gin & Tonic has always been a global cocktail. First popularized by the soldiers of the British Raj who created it as a means of choking down malaria-preventing quinine, the cocktail was soon adopted by the U.K. population at large, and not long after made its way to the United States. But during the past few years, the simple, two-ingredient cocktail has taken on an even more global look, with bartenders from all corners of the Earth putting their own spin on the classic drink.
Why does a basic, two-ingredient cocktail have such worldwide appeal? In part, it’s because of the cocktail’s simplicity. “While people do occasionally mess up the G&T, it is also pretty easy to get it right—you don't have to be in a World’s Top 100 Bar to make a good G&T,” says Jake Burger, master distiller of Portobello Road Gin and director of the Ginstitute in London. And it’s also thanks to the recent worldwide gin boom. “Gin is hot at the moment everywhere in the world,” says French expat Nico de Soto of NYC’s Mace (along with Danico in Paris and Kaido in Miami). “The great number of different style gins you can find now intrigue and excite both bartenders and customers.”