The next time you sip your gin and tonic, spare a thought for Doña Francisca Henríques de Ribera, countess of Chinchón and wife of the viceroy of Peru. When the beautiful countess lay languishing and feverish on her deathbed sometime around 1630, she was given a dose of a local “fever bark” and, surprisingly, recovered. So thankful was she for this miraculous cure that, the story goes, she returned to Spain to dispense the bark to the suffering of Europe. It may all sound somewhat fanciful, but the story was enough for the Swedish botanist Linnaeus to name both the tree and the genus after the countess (although he managed to drop the first “h” in the process, so it became Cinchona). It is the bark of the cinchona tree, and the powerful antimalarial quinine compounds it contains, that is famously the bitter flavoring in tonic water. Of course...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| February 01 2021
Review: Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water, by Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt
Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water, Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt,
2019, 144 pp. Color and black and white illustrations. $25 / £18 (hardcover)
Gastronomica (2021) 21 (1): 109–110.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
David Gentilcore; Review: Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water, by Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt. Gastronomica 1 February 2021; 21 (1): 109–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2021.21.1.109
Download citation file: