The Skinny Bee cocktail is our twist on the classic vodka-tonic cocktail – an infamous recipe which is believed to have first gained popularity during the British Colonial Era. Although the classic recipe of one part vodka to three parts tonic may seem simple it is one of the most widely ordered drinks at bars around the world. A fairly clean drink, which is lower on the calories than some sweeter cocktails, the recipe is genius and the perfect refreshment for a warm summer’s day or as a light aperitif before dinner.
The use of tonic water in cocktails has been around for decades, however the origin of tonic water dates back far earlier than when it began to gain popularity as a common alcoholic mixer.
Tonic water is fairly unique in taste due to its bitterness, which comes from its key ingredient quinine, an alkaloid derived from the bark of the cinchona tree. These trees are naturally found in South America and some parts of Central America; hence this is where the mixer was first established as a drink.
Quinine has many medicinal properties, most famously its ability to cure malaria. Therefore, it is believed to have first been used by the Peruvian Incas, an indigenous group from the Andes as a medicine. The Incas used to pulverise the alkaloid and then add it to tea to treat the sick. Over the centuries, it began to be added to drinks in a powdered form and over time, sugar and soda water was added to combat the bitterness from the quinine. Eventually, a rather delicious drink was created, coined ‘tonic water’ after the Greek word ‘tonikos’ meaning refreshing. And who would have thought a bitter, unpalatable malarial remedy would eventually become a world-leading alcoholic mixer?!
Quinine from the bark of a Cinchona Tree
Quinine is also believed to have hangover-curing properties; therefore, some believe that using it as an alcoholic mixer may counteract the effects of the alcohol, the following day. However, this is obviously dependent on the volume of alcohol consumed!
To make the Beeble version of the classic vodka-tonic cocktail, we like to use Beeble Honey Vodka, which adds a hint of sweetness to the drink, whilst still retaining its light, refreshing taste. With a good squeeze of fresh lime juice, it is the ultimate cocktail, perfect for any occasion, whether you are wanting a delicious aperitif, digestif or maybe even a cooling summer tipple to enjoy with friends.
Read our full recipe below:
Skinny Bee Recipe
Prep time: 4 mins
Total time: 4 mins
Serving size: 1
- 60ml Beeble Honey Vodka
- Juice of ¼ of a lime
- 150ml tonic water (or to taste)
- Lime wedge to garnish
- Fill a glass with ice
- Add the Honey Vodka and lime juice
- Top up with tonic water to taste and stir
- Garnish with lime and rosemary
~ Beeble Top Tip ~ For an extra finishing touch, run a wedge of lemon or lime around the rim of the glass to truly bring out the flavours and add a citrus sting!
Written by Hester