Up until recently, the term “pink Gin” commonly referred to the simple yet elegant concoction of Plymouth Gin with a dash or two of Angostura bitters. This dated back to 19th-century England, and is believed to have roots in the Royal Navy from a Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, for medicinal (anti-seasickness) consumption.
However, unlike the Plymouth and Angostura recipe, the “new” pink Gin can come in many variations of pink infusions, and the chosen pink agent is a part of the distilling process, not a post-product mix
It then, of course only inevitably, made its way back to bars in mainland England, and eventually the cocktail spread up into some more fine-dining circles. A “pink Gin and tonic” variation formed shortly, and pink Gin cemented itself a spot in the classic cocktail collection.
Or so we thought.
A new “pink Gin” evolution has taken home and public bars alike by storm.
Conceptually, the “pink Gin” that has so recently burst into modern popularity is not quite so different. In essence, both instances of “pink Gin” refer to a Gin with a flavoring agent not typically found in Gin which, in addition to adding one more layer of flavor to the already complex Gin profile, also allows it to attain the signature pink to rosy-red hue.
It then, of course only inevitably, made its way back to bars in mainland England, and eventually up and into some more fine-dining circles
However, unlike the Plymouth and Angostura recipe, the “new” pink Gin can come in many variations of pink infusions. And unlike the post-production mix of ingredients (or a loosely named “cocktail”) that was the original pink Gin, the chosen pink agent for this pink Gin is a part of either the distillation or re-distillation process, and can further be steeped with the Gin base to achieve a heavier pink hue.
Any number of rosy agents can be added to the Gin during distillation; some favorites include raspberry, strawberry, and grapefruit, but the spectrum includes everything from rhubarb and red currants to cherry blossom and distilled rosé.
However, the pink Gin craze is not just a coloring committed in order to jump on the trending train of Millennial Pink and its everlasting status of the color of the year. These ingredients, of course, are also strategic yet subtle flavoring agents that lend some very interesting new notes to the botanical bouquet that is Gin as we already know it.
Any number of rosy agents can be added to the Gin during distillation; some favorites include raspberry, strawberry, and grapefruit, but the spectrum includes everything from rhubarb and red currants to rosé and pink peppercorns
As with any high-quality spirit, it’s best to enjoy and observe pink Gin entirely on its own, on the rocks, or with just one or two subtle, highly complementary component(s); think prosecco, mint, or tonic.
Ready to dive in?
Pink Gin Labels to Look Out For
Poetic License Picnic Gin
From Poetic License, a small-batch, independent Gin distillery already known for its incredibly creative flavor infusions—like baked apple and salted caramel, and sweet bell pepper and naga chilli—is the Picnic Gin, its take on pink Gin.
Picnic Gin is both distilled and infused with a plethora of strawberries, giving it an intriguing creamy texture complemented with coriander and orris-root flavor notes. Its red-fruit-forward profile plays nicely with an elderflower tonic, or mixed with lemonade and garnished with some fresh summer fruits and just-picked mint.
Daffy’s Red Gooseberry Gin – Highly Limited Release
In a partnership with Red Magazine, Daffy’s Red Gooseberry Gin got its start from a local foraging expedition between the two parties at the close of summer, in search of inspiration for their ideal small-batch pink Gin experiment.
As the name will tell you, the Gin achieves its pink form from whole, fresh, and unpressed Scottish red gooseberries both foraged on that trip and sourced from local friends of the distillery. But on top of that, Daffy’s Red features notes of soft vanilla, yarrow, and a minty finish from wild, rare river mint.
However, the pink Gin craze is not just a coloring committed in order to jump on the trending train of Millennial Pink and its everlasting status of color of the year. These ingredients, of course, are also strategic yet subtle flavoring agents that lend some very interesting new notes to the botanical bouquet that is Gin already
With only 5,000 bottles available to the public, Daffy’s Red Gooseberry Gin is already an incredibly hard line to track down; one may have to look for it in specialty shops or auctions quite soon. That said, it’s worth the trouble—there truly is no other pink Gin quite like this one.
Audemus Pink Pepper Gin
This is a double-take pink Gin: that is, the ingredient itself is “pink,” but the final product is, well, not so.
That said, it’s certainly not one to pass over for its lack of a rosy reflection; unlike the more floral or fruity pinks that make up the majority of the market, the Audemus Pink uniquely utilizes pink pepper, moreover in its French-style grain gin.
Underscoring the slight spice of the pink pepper are some honey and vanilla notes, with some other herbal ingredients, yet undisclosed, to round out its intriguing, distinct flavor profile.
Wolffer Estate Vineyard ‘Pink’ Gin
As a strong vineyard first, New York’s Wolffer Estate is the only pink Gin producer to create its concoction from a distilled rosé base. The vineyard also grows its own juniper berries (and has since 1996), rounding out the base of the creation with more local flavors.
The rosé Gin is then infused with a mix of botanicals (including anise, fennel, coriander, cumin, cardamom, ginger, and lime zest), with the signature pink color enhanced by a touch of grape-skin extract at the end.
Wolffer Estate Vineyard’s “Pink” Gin is smooth and light with just a hint of spice, and is recommended for use with a classic Gin and tonic, or a flavorful, dry Martini.