Exploring the origins and production methods of tonic drinks : From Asia to Your glass

Did you know that some of the most popular drinks in the world originated from Asia? Join us for a swim through the origins of tonic drinks that delight our taste buds and have kept us healthy for centuries.

1. Jamu from Indonesia : Food as Medicine

Hailing from Java, the same island as our founder, Jamu is a labor of love Used as a traditional Indonesian medicine, this non-alcoholic drink is made from a variety of roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits selected for medicinal purposes. There are many blends of ingredients with their own unique purpose. For example Jamu Kunyit Asam is a bright yellow drink using turmeric and tamarind for their anti-inflammatory and detoxifying purposes. The beauty of Jamu lies in its versatility to meet various wellness needs using different ingredients local to each region of the massive country. Each traditional recipe is passed down through generations as treasured family secrets carefully preserved.

2. Kombucha from China

Kombucha has captured the heart of many around the world, but did you know this fermented beverage was born in China around 220 B.C? Prized for its healing properties the tea was brought to Japan as a digestive medicine for Emperor Ingyō. Traditionally green or black tea is fermented with the help of a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) leaving a fizzy and tangy drink. Today, check for added sugars, sweeteners and the preservation of good bacteria, as processing can affect the drink’s health benefits. After all, how something is made is just as important as the quality of its ingredients.

3. Tonic water from India

Is your go-to drink a gin and tonic? (or Melati and tonic?) If so, its roots go back centuries to British colonial times in India. Tonic water owes its flavor to the bitter bark of the cinchona tree or quinine as its known today. Originally used as a medicine to combat malaria, British soldiers stationed in India mixed quinine with soda water to make it more palatable. With their love of gin, it’s no wonder how the combination gained popularity and because a classic cocktail.

So, the next time you raise your glass to enjoy a tonic drink, remember the stories woven into every drop. From wellness tonics to medicines, Asia’s tonic drinks are a testament to the wide range of healing plants and ingredients of the region, along with their bold flavors. Discover more of how your drinks are inspired by health and drank for pleasure on our blog.