It seems like a new Pink Gin is launched every day – maybe it is because we are in the season of ‘love’ with Valentine's Day and Mother’s Day on our door step? Pink Gin is very much in vogue so we have taken it upon ourselves to do some research to give you the inside line on where the colour comes from and how to best serve it (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!)
Origins – the 'Pink Gin'
The first ‘Pink Gin’ was a cocktail and originated in the Royal Navy. As far back as 1824 Angostura bitters were used as a treatment for sea sickness and to make the consumption more pleasant, Plymouth gin was added to improve the 'medicine'. Order this cocktail today and it usually comes garnished with a lemon rind and is sure to be served in a classier vessel!
What turns gin pink?
Putting cocktails to one side, we are looking at gins which are already pink in colour.
Pink gins are not usually classified as a London Dry in that the pink colour comes from a post distillation infusion (a London Dry gin must have all ingredients added at the distillation step). Steeping the gin with botanicals such as fruits and flowers such as raspberries, goji berries, rosehip or hibiscus, means that these botanicals impart their natural pink colour.
The intensity of the colour can vary greatly from a gin which is very pale pink, such as Eden Mill’s Love Gin to the deep reds of a Sloe or Damson gin. The rule of thumb is that the paler the colour the subtler the flavours.
What do pink gins taste like?
There are two types of Pink gin - Fruit gins which are a lot sweeter in taste than clear gins and unmistakably taste of the fruit that has been steeped in the gin. The second is the paler pink gins, which are slightly sweeter than a clear gin, due to the fruits and flowers which have been added, but they still have that distinctive Juniper dryness.
How to serve pink gin.
When thinking about how to serve your gin, you should think along the same lines as you would with a clear gin. Look at the botanicals used and then think about which of their flavours you would like to bring out in your drink – or what flavours compliment them. Tonic and slice selection is key here and make sure you experiment to find your best match. We would like to hear about your favourites so make sure that you share them on our Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest page.
Fruit gins are well suited as a liqueur and so are traditionally served neat or on ice. They can however be a fantastic long drink with tonic or a dynamic addition to a cocktail.
We have highlighted some of our serving suggestions below:
Eden Mill Love Gin:
Pink inducing botanicals: Rose Petal, Goji Berries and Hibiscus Flowers
Colour and Flavour: Light blush pink colour gin, a fruity, floral aroma, and a mellow red berry and citrus flavour
Suggested serve: Dr John William Polidori tonic water with fresh or frozen strawberries will give a fruity G&T. Whereas mixing it with Peter Spanton No 1 London Tonic with pink grapefruit garnish will bring out more citrus flavours.
Pink inducing botanical: Raspberries
Colour and Flavour: Pale pink in colour, with a sweet and fruit flavour, balanced with a black pepper and gentle spice.
Suggested serve: Dr John William Poloidori tonic water with some fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint.
Two Birds Strawberry and Vanilla Gin:
Pink inducing botanical: Strawberries
Colour and Flavour: Bright strawberry pink in colour, fresh strawberry and vanilla flavours accompanied by black pepper and juniper.
Suggested serve: Double Dutch Skinny Tonic, garnished with fresh strawberries, a sprig of mint, a wedge of lime and pink peppercorns. Or for something sweeter, serve it with Lamb and Watt Hibiscus tonic water.
Pink inducing botanical: Damsons
Colour and Flavour: Very deep pink/red in colour, with the flavours of berry, almond, allspice and juniper
Suggested serve: Served with a dash of Double Dutch Cranberry and ginger tonic, added to a glass of Champagne or Prosecco or delicious on its own.
Pink inducing botanical: Rhubarb
Colour and Flavour: Light pink, with sweet and tart flavours
Pink inducing botanical: Raspberries
Colour and Flavour: Intense rich pink, with a sweet raspberry flavour
Pink inducing botanical: Sloe Berry
Colour and Flavour: Deep pink/red, rich sweet plum flavours
Suggested serve: Add some Walter Gregor’s tonic water or add to Champagne or Prosecco or just on its own.
So, now you can get into the Pink with confidence. Cheers!