DID U KNOW…During the mid-1800s, British citizens and soldiers in India needed a way to protect themselves from malaria. It was discovered that cinchona bark, which produced quinine that could prevent and treat malaria, was the answer. By the 1840s, Slate reports, Brits in India were using 700 tons of cinchona bark a year. Since quinine was bitter (ever tasted tonic on its own?) and the powder they used not very easy to drink when simply mixed with water, they eventually began adding gin.