Fighting the Tropics


While I’m still slaving away on the cookbook, I’ve got the pleasure of bringing you a bit of alcohol history and a fabulous new reference by way of this guest post from my new friend, Woody Robinson. I mean really, how could I say no to a post about one of my favorite spirits?!


Last weekend I asked for a Gin and Tonic from a weathered bartender at a local pub. A simple request you may think. However, upon delivering my drink, the bartender barked in a raspy voice, “Fighting off the tropics eh?” While some may have ignored this odd comment, I decided to dig a bit deeper. I found out that Gin was mixed with quinine (an anti-malarial compound) and carbonated water during the 17th century in tropical British Colonies. Thus the Gin and Tonic was born!

While simply drinking is great fun, understanding the alcohol we consume makes the experience far more interesting and rewarding. For example, say you’re drinking some gin after a long day of work. Did you know that English soldiers were drinking the same thing while fighting Spanish troops in the Eighty Year War?

Unfortunately, finding a gin that caters to your specific tastes is often a difficult task. From traditional to modern blends with a broad spectrum of flavors, it’s easy to get lost at your local liquor store.

However, alcohol references can make finding your ‘gin of choice’ a snap. For example, FindTheBest teamed up with several gin directories to create a convenient database of the worlds greatest gins. With nearly 200 brands and useful filters to narrow your results, comparing gins has never been easier.

Learning the history of you favorite alcohol is an enlightening and satisfying process. While Gin and Tonics probably aren’t currently recommended by the FDA as an anti-malaria medication, they sure make for a good time after work!


Woody Robinson is a recent graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara, and is now a gin enthusiast working at FindTheBest and FindTheData. FindTheBest is an objective, socially curated comparison engine that allows you to find a topic, compare your options and decide what’s best for you.