There's a scientific reason why you love the taste of a gin & tonic 6 years ago

There's a scientific reason why you love the taste of a gin & tonic

Today (June 11) is World Gin Day.

There's nothing quite like a gin and tonic is - and it turns out there may be a scientific explanation for why it's such a popular drink.


Matthews Hartings is a professor of chemistry at the American University in Washington DC , and he explained to Quartz why exactly G&Ts taste so good.


Although gin tastes completely different to tonic water, the chemicals in both liquids come in similar molecular structures.


This is where it gets complicated, but simply put, the attraction between the two molecules create "aggregates" and this creates a whole new taste.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 11.02.44

Via Matthew Hartings/Quartz 

Hartings says that the gin is a grain alcohol that is distilled with natural flavours, the most popular being juniper berries, which gives gin its distinctive taste.


Meanwhile, tonic water is flavoured with quinine, which is bitter. During distillation, certain flavour oils are drawn out of the juniper berry.

This is where the science part comes in.


"When gin and tonic are mixed, quinine and the flavour molecules from the juniper berries combine to make a perceived flavour that is different than just the sum of the individual parts," Hartings explains. "The molecules from the gin and the tonic can do this because they look alike; the molecules are similar."

So while you may not like the taste of tonic water on its own and think gin is diabolical without tonic, this explains why they taste so good together.

Happy World Gin Day!