Break out a blushing bottle of pink gin for Valentine’s Day. None of these are bottled cocktails, but each has a decidedly rosy hue, whether from botanicals included in the distillation process or bitters blended into the mix.
“Pink gin” itself isn’t a new concept—a simple mix of gin and Angostura bitters was used to quell seasickness among sailors in the Royal Navy—but right now, we’re seeing a trendlet of bottled gins inspiring us to think pink. These are three rosy newcomers to try, plus a recipe if your Valentine is more of a DIY type.
Inspired by the historic drink used to quell seasickness among sailors in the Royal Navy, this is a straight-up blend of gin and bitters, with a hint of color added for that pale carnation pink. It’s lightly sweet on the palate, with hints of lychee, grapefruit peel and anise. The producer recommends topping up with tonic for a blushing Gin & Tonic.
Made with rose hips and rose petals and sweetened with turbinado sugar, this is a gin-based liqueur that will appeal to those who love aperitif spirits. It’s appealingly ruddy in the glass and only lightly sweet, with an herbaceous lilt. Sip it over ice, or mix into Negroni-style cocktails.
This small-batch gin “celebrates the Victorian gin-making era,” says the producer. (The name is a nod to the Gin Act of 1751, which banned the sale of gin in lowbrow spaces, paving the way for it to become the sip of the upper classes.) Bracing, with hints of cardamom and grapefruit peel, the base is lightly sweet Old Tom gin, while the pale pink tint is derived from bitters.
Adapted from the 1939 classic cocktail book The Gentleman’s Companion by Charles H. Baker, the original cocktail nods to the drink’s Navy roots, suggesting that the excess bitters “go back in the bottle, on the floor or out the porthole or window, depending upon who, where and what we are.”