Just the Tonic

By Mark Nesbitt, Kim Walker,

Book cover of Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water

Book description

Just the Tonic is an accessible yet informative history of tonic water: its connections to the major disease malaria, the cure discovered in the bitter bark of the cinchona tree and its constituent alkaloid quinine. It is a history deeply intertwined with botanical exploration and empire in the Victorian era,…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Just the Tonic as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a fabulous book, a highly authoritative account of the extraordinary story of one of the world’s best-known drinks.  

Beautifully illustrated with archival posters, photographs, and botanical art throughout, it describes the fascinating history of tonic water, taking us from the 17thC discovery by Europeans of quinine, the anti-malarial extract obtained from the bark of South American Cinchona trees to the present day, detailing the history of carbonated water and its pairing with gin along the way.  

Meticulously researched and based on original source material and the unrivalled botanical collections held by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this book…

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