Step away from the rosé. Spirits, not wine, are what’s blushing right now, in the form of gins, vodkas and liqueurs infused with rose petals, ruby red grapefruit and, yes, even pink wine. “The color is arresting,” says Joe Heron, the founder of Copper & Kings distillery. “Pink drinks add a sense of fun and optimism.” These are six pink spirits that will give you a rosy outlook indeed.
Beefeater Pink London Gin ($21)
The iconic British distillery released this vibrant fruity pink gin, based on the original recipe of its London dry, to which natural strawberry flavor is added. It’s Inspired by founder James Burrough’s strolls through market stalls in the city’s Covent Garden in the 1800s, where he’d peruse fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Though it’s a spirit that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you can use it to mix some seriously delicious cocktails like a Frozen Pink Daiquiri, Pink & Tonic and Cotton Candy Berry Sour, a gin sour topped with a fluff of the sugary carnival treat.
Copper & Kings The History of Lovers Gin ($35)
This Louisville, Ky., distillery took a different approach to its gin. Rather than aim for an expected strawberry-tinged spirit, this expression reflects the color and bouquet of roses. Botanicals including crushed whole juniper berries, rose hips, rose water, sweet orange, tangerine, lime, pink grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, coriander, pink peppercorns and licorice root are macerated in apple brandy low-wine, then redistilled with additional botanicals to retain aromatics and flavor. “Our objective is elegance and good taste versus a ‘Barbie’ gin for a less-sophisticated palate,” says Copper & Kings’ Heron. Mix it in a Spanish Rose G&T garnished with juniper berries, strawberries and edible flowers or a Coming Up Roses Spritz with raspberry syrup and sparkling rosé.
Glendalough Rose Gin ($35)
This small-batch gin is made using wild ingredients picked in the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin by the only distillery in the world to use full-time foragers. It’s pot-distilled with juniper, mountain-grown flora and three types of aromatic roses that lend it its pretty pink hue. Aromas of lemon, blood orange, soft juniper and fresh rose are joined by flavors of rose petal, bright berries, Turkish delight candies and nectar-sweet citrus. The long finish is marked by rose, pink peppercorn and earthy spice. Drink it in a variant of a Ramos Gin Fizz with strawberry syrup and Bittermens Xocolatl mole bitters, or in a Paint Me Like One of Your Irish Girls, with hibiscus tea syrup and lemon juice topped with prosecco.
Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka ($30)
This Bay Area distillery, housed in an old World War II aircraft hangar, works with local vintners and farmers to source the fruit for all of its spirits. For its rose vodka, Hangar 1 infuses vodka with California rosé wine, resulting in a first-of-its-kind release. “Hangar 1 rosé was inspired as a celebration of California’s wine culture that explores the full flavor profile of the grape,” says head distiller Caley Shoemaker. Floral aromas are followed by flavors of crisp apple, sweet pea blossoms and a touch of oak, finishing with hints of cranberry. Try it shaken with lemon juice and honey syrup and topped with sparkling wine or in a Sangria riff with fresh watermelon juice, lime juice and club soda.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
Malfy Gin Rosa ($30)
The Italian distillery where this gin is produced encapsulates the philosophy of “dolce far niente,” the sweet art of doing nothing. This spirit is a sun-drenched ode to the sparkling Mediterranean coast, distilled with Sicilian pink grapefruits, lemon peel, angelica root, orris root and coriander; rhubarb added afterward gives it its pale pink hue. It all leads to a gin that tastes of fresh grapefruit with a long juniper finish. Sip it on the terrace in a Martini with Italian vermouth garnished with lime or in a Pink Lemonade mixed with limoncello, topped with soda water and garnished with a lime wedge and raspberry.
Rhuby Rhubarb Liqueur ($31)
Founder Ylva Binder was inspired by childhood memories of biting into bittersweet rhubarb stalks in Sweden to create a liqueur that bottles that experience. She sources local rhubarb, which is juiced and preserved with Swedish wheat vodka from her birthplace of Åker Styckebruk, Södermanland, and mixed with a touch of sugar and bourbon bean vanilla, as well as natural aroma to ramp up the nose. The liqueur starts off smooth on the palate, followed by the signature appealing tartness of rhubarb, and a long silky finish offsets the root’s sharpness. It’s lovely in a Blushing Lady with gin, lemon juice, pear syrup and egg white or a Rhuby Breakfast with lemon curd and vermouth garnished with a ruby red grapefruit slice.