Who Glows There?

Tell the truth: Are you afraid of the dark?

It’s okay, you’re not alone… Although, you may wish you were…


Glowing like an unearthly phantom in the night, this arresting fluorescence is in fact quite natural. Quinine, the key ingredient in tonic water, is responsible for creating this ghoulish aura. It may have a very faint glow in regular sunlight, but turns brightly, vividly blue when illuminated by ultraviolet (UV) light, AKA “black light.”

You could easily harness this black magic with any old glass of gin and tonic, but for Halloween, why not have a bit more fun with this party trick? Skull ice cube molds are a must for the full effect, if you ask me, but any silicone ice cube tray will work just fine.

Not a fan of the classic G&T?

You’ve got options! The only critical component is tonic water, leaving the accompanying spirits and flavors up for creative interpretation. Consider a few other effortless, tried-and-true variations on the theme:

  • Rum and tonic
  • Vodka tonic
  • Whiskey tonic
  • Aperol tonic

Hosting kids or non-drinkers?

If you want to share a festive drink that packs less of a punch, you can still have lots of fun without the booze. Swap the spirits for any fruit juice, soda, or zero-proof mixers for more flavorful, less intoxicating options.

How do you make a classic gin and tonic?

First mixed up in the mid-1800s to combat Malaria, the gin and tonic is a classic cocktail for good reason. Quinine is a genuinely therapeutic ingredient that can be used to effectively treat the ailment, while gin and a splash of lime helps the medicine go down, as they say. The basic ratio is as simple as they come:

  • 1:3 is the standard proportion, which translates to 2 ounces of gin for every 5-6 ounces of tonic water. Just don’t forget to add a touch of fresh lime juice, too!
  • Like everything else, it’s a matter of personal taste, so you may see some particularly strong mixes that use equal parts gin and tonic water.

How to make a Grim and Tonic for Halloween

Let’s not over-complicate things here; the “grim” and tonic is absolutely the same as a traditional G&T, but with frozen tonic water instead of plain ice cubes. This has the added benefit of not watering down the drink while still keeping it perfectly chilled and brilliantly refreshing. All it takes is one little trick to make this one hell of a devilish treat for celebrating All Hallows’ Eve with.

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