What is Pink Gin? A Quick Guide
It’s the pink drink that has everyone talking. It’s groovy, girlie and Instagrammable gold. What’s more, it’ll turn even the most ardent of gin-haters into ginthusiasts quicker than you can say Barbie. Yes, my friends, pink gin is definitely in. And it’s not just for girls.
The Pink Papers
In a report by The Guardian, the pink gin trend is set to continue. At the London Spirits Summit in 2018, gin specialist David T. Smith shared that there were over 150 pink gins on the market as compared to fewer than five in 2013. Covid and the (oh so many, many) lockdowns increased sales figures for flavoured gins even further, with even super-premium producers entering the category.
But how come the pink drink has won over the hearts of so many? Well, one the reasons for pink gin’s skyrocketing popularity is that it is damn tasty; in fact, GCA found that 54% of pink gin drinkers today did not previously drink gin. The data giant also found that in 2019, 5.1 million consumers said they drank pink gin – a number that has more than doubled from 2.2 million the previous year.
First. Let’s get one thing straight. Traditional pink gin and a pink gin cocktail are not the same thing. It all started with a German doctor named Johann Siegert. While in Angostura, Venezuela, the doctor sought a remedy for “tropical stomach ailments,” eventually perfecting the formula for Angostura Bitters in 1824. This “medicine” was a pretty bright red colour and extremely unpalatable. However, it was successful in curing maladies and was transported back to Europe, where it became popular among British Royal Navy sailors prone to sea sickness.
But there was a problem. The Angostura Bitter was, well, rather bitter in taste. Sailors were paid in part with gin in those days (hence the term ‘navy gin’), so the enterprising young men decided to add a splash of gin to their medicine to give it a more palatable taste. The result was not only the forerunner to the classic pink gin cocktail but a gorgeous drink that had a lovely rosy blush.
Pink Gin Popularity
By the late 19th century, pink gin cocktails had become tremendously popular with the elite. As the cocktail evolved from being a seaman’s remedy to a fashionable aperitif, so too did the recipe. Garnishes such as rose petals, raspberries and strawberries were used to match the colour, and tonic was added to the original recipe to make the drink that much nicer.
But if we talk about pink gin today, chances are we’re not talking about the cocktail. Chances are we’re talking about modern pink gin, which is not the same thing. Read on.
Are Pink Gin and Clear Gin the same thing?
Well… yes and no. Today’s pink gin is made in exactly the same way as other gins up to a certain point in the distillation process. During this stage, the flavour of juniper become stronger, a taste that has put some people off gin in the past. Pink gin allows master distillers such as BLOOM’s Joanne Moore, one of the world’s leading authorities on gin, vast more creativity than with traditional, clear gins. In BLOOM’s Jasmine and Rose pink gin for example Joanne leads with the botanical flavours of Jasmin, balanced by the delicate bitterness of Rose. Greenall’s Wild Berry Pink Gin takes their traditional London Dry Gin recipe and infuses it with blackberries and raspberries to create a smooth tasting gin, without the addition of sugar or sweetener. There are lots of ways to make your drink pink - from grape skins to rhubarb to pink grapefruit our advice is to try, try, try!
If you want your gin and tonic with a hint of pink then why not check out our full range of pink gins here!