What? No quinine?! Well polish my boots batman!”
That’s right, Major. There’s no quinine in our tonic water.
It dries the palate don’t you know.
I often get asked “Why is there no quinine in your tonic water?” Here’s a better question: “Does there need to be quinine in my tonic water?” The short answer’s no. Quinine found its way into tonic water more by accident than design. Its real name is chinchona and it’s a tree bark native to South America but found all over Africa, Asia and Jamaica.In the early 19th century, British troops stationed in India drank quinine mixed with sugar and soda to ward off malaria. But they hated the taste. It was so bitter they started adding generous helpings of gin, just to make it drinkable.Nowadays, the amount of quinine in tonic is much lower and drinking it against malaria is useless. So even if you’re frothing at the mouth with fever, you don’t need quinine in your tonic. We’ll stick our necks out even further: we think it dries the palate and spoils the taste.Taste was the reason I started Cushiedoos back in spring, 2016. I didn’t call my company Drink Better Ltd for the fun of it. I believed Scotland could offer something far superior to any of the existing tonics on the market if I sourced my ingredients as locally as possible.