This Is Why Tonic Water Glows In The Dark

There are certain things we know glow in the dark: Those stars you used to stick on your ceiling as a kid. The white dog hair on your pants under a blacklight at SoulCycle. Glowsticks. But then, there are other things that glow in the dark that may shock you. One of these things is tonic water, says Scientific American. Yes, that bubbly beverage you mix with your gin or sip solo with whichever accompaniments you desire doesn't just taste good, it actually glows in the dark. 

But what makes it glow? Well, Scientific American says the reason for this is that tonic water contains quinine, a chemical made from tree bark that is fluorescent under the right conditions. The best part? Even though there is only a small amount of quinine in tonic water, under a blacklight, this drink turns fluorescent blue. This may be the best party trick we never knew about and will be stocking up on blacklights ASAP. 

Is tonic water safe?

While it may have been a bit weird to read about how your go-to drink or cocktail mixer actually glows in the dark, it turns out that the amount of quinine in tonic water isn't anything to be concerned about. Originally used to help treat malaria patientsHeathline notes that it is safe to consume quinine in small doses, such as the amount found in tonic water. In fact, the amount in tonic water is diluted enough that you shouldn't feel any type of side effects from the beverage — we have FDA regulations to thank for that. And, per Medical News Today, while the quinine is the component of the drink that adds that bitter bite to it, tonic water really has little to no nutritional value. 

Ready to jump on the tonic water train? You can make more than just gin and tonics with it. Try switching up the liquor with a vodka tonic, experimenting with mocktails, or taking a cue from Ryan Reynolds by adding cranberry and lemon juice to the classic G&T. Cheers!