Gin. Specifically, the alcohol beverage of Gin was called mother's ruin because in the mid eighteenth century the effects of gin on the family and economy were disastrous. Considered the poor man's drink due to its affordability, gin drinking had started out as medicine but due to its easy availability, men became impotent while women became sterile causing the London birth rate to decline drastically. Also, drinking a pint of gin and having an extremely hot bath was recommended as a way to induce a miscarriage (not contraception) in 1950s Britain
"I'll have a mother's ruin and tonic please, with a twist of lime"
it is said the rich Victorians wanted to cull the poor, this was probably their way of doing it... Chin Chin.. or Droop Droop..
maybe the lime counteracted the other effects