With all the talk of “millennial pink” and #RoseAllDay, you might think that pink gin was just the latest product to make a grab for that elusive 22- to 34-year-old market. But you would be wrong—pink gin (also known as pink Plymouth) was trending way back in the mid-19th century. A simple mix of Plymouth gin and Angostura bitters, the pale pink cocktail is rumored to have been invented by the Royal Navy, who used the aromatic bitters as a cure for seasickness. The sailors introduced the two-ingredient drink on land, and it quickly became popular with members of British high society.
While the cocktail itself has since fallen out of favor, distillers are now capitalizing on people’s fascination with all things pink and bottling their own versions of the rosy-hued gin. Pretty as these spirits may be, they are more than just good looking. From traditional gin-and-bitters mixes to some unconventional wine-based bottlings, here are the best pink gins to try now.
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Spiced with a mild licorice flavor and bolstered with classic juniper, The Bitter Truth’s blushing bottling was one of the first to hit the market. The company stays true to history by flavoring their gin with aromatic bitters and touting a ship on their label, harkening back to the drink’s nautical origins. It’s delicious sipped on its own over ice, or try it in a gin-forward drink like a Gin & Tonic or French 75.
Gin Lane is the result of a partnership between 8th generation distiller Charles Maxwell and The Bloomsbury Club, a group of “inquisitive drinks industry veterans with a passion to recreate a range of London gins with historical accuracy.” It was with that mission in mind that this Pink Gin was created without any artificial color or flavoring. It’s infused with a blend of juniper, orris root, Seville oranges, angelica, Sicilian lemon, star anise, cassia bark, coriander and spiced bitters for a richly flavored spirit that tastes delightful topped with club soda or stirred into a Martini.
Made using the Hamptons vineyard’s own rosé as the base, this take on pink gin is a departure from the traditional, bitters-dyed version. It’s infused with local juniper berries along with botanicals like cardamom, coriander and fresh mint, and gets its rosy hue from red grape skin extract. While it doesn’t have that same heavily spiced quality as some more traditional pink gins, the slightly fruity bottling is just as delicious in classic gin cocktails like a Gin Rickey or Tom Collins. Plus, it’s the perfect gateway for that rosé fanatic looking to make the leap to something a little stronger—but equally as eye-catching.
More rose gold than true pink, this gin from the Oregon brewery and distillery gets its color from time spent aging in Pinot Noir barrels. Infused with 12 botanicals, including spruce, ginger, grains of paradise and fresh cucumber, it’s silky and full-bodied with some spiced oak notes. Try it in a gin Old Fashioned, or do the unthinkable and hide its hues in a Negroni.