Looking for the best Pink Gin Cocktails?
Our guide to Pink Gin Cocktails offers details on the history of pink gin, how pink gin is made, the best pink gin brands, refreshing pink gin mixers and our favourite pink gin cocktail recipes.
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What Is Pink Gin?
For expert mixologists and bartenders, Pink Gin is a classic cocktail made fashionable in England in the mid-19th century. The Pink gin cocktail is widely thought to have been invented by members of Britain’s Royal Navy.
Traditional pink gin cocktail recipes consisted of Plymouth gin and a dash of Angostura bitters, a dark red bitters that makes the whole drink faintly pink in colour. Plymouth gin is a ‘sweet’ gin, as opposed to London gin which is ‘dry’, and was added to Angostura bitters to make the consumption of bitters more enjoyable as it was used as a tonic to treat sea sickness in 1824 by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert.
Lemon rind is also commonly used as a garnish, with the citrus essential oils subtly complementing the flavour profile.
The British Royal Navy eventually introduced the Pink Gin Cocktail to bars in England. By the 1870s, gin was becoming increasingly popular and many of the finer establishments in England were serving pink gin cocktails as a luxurious libation.
Bartenders may ask whether you want it served “in or out”, upon which the cocktail expert swirls the bitters around the glass before either leaving it in, or pouring it out before adding the gin.
Today, you can easily make a homemade traditional Pink Gin Cocktail by using your favourite bottle of gin, a dash of bitters and twist of lemon.
Pink Gin Ingredients
So what exactly are pink gin’s ingredients?
Old school Pink Gin Cocktails typically include Plymouth gin, Angostura Bitters and lemon peel.
Today, gin brands around the world have reinterpreted the idea of pink gin. The definition now includes a choir of trendy spirit bottles that borrow the name from their colour rather than a historic cocktail recipe.
What Makes Pink Gin Pink?
Curious about what makes pink gin pink?
Authentic pink gin cocktails get their pinkish colour when Angostura bitters is added to gin.
Today, contemporary pink gins get their colour from a variety of ingredient additions such as pink peppercorn, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, rose and red currants.
The contents of the bottle are similar to normal gin as there is no added sugar and it still contains the same alcohol by volume. The beautiful pink colour offers newbie gin sippers a preview of deliciously sweet and fruity flavours.
How To Make Pink Gin
Looking to learn how to make pink gin at home?
The easiest way to make homemade pink gin is to simply steep your favourite red or ruby fruit and muddle with a premium gin.
Let the red fruits steep in gin for several days and you’re guests will be delighted when they realize you’re serving them fresh DIY pink gin cocktails!
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Travel to Taste the World’s Best Gins
There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the best pink gin cocktails then by planning a vacation to visit the world’s best gin distilleries.
The world’s most famous gins can be found in the United Kingdom as well as neighbouring Ireland. The booming gin trend has produced a high demand for premium gins produced by distilleries in Canada and America.
We’ve visited a handful of gin distilleries in Britain as well as a chic gin cocktail bar at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taipei. The gin craze has officially travelled from England to North America, Asia and beyond!
In Scotland we visited Edinburgh Gin for a tour and tasting before enjoying a road trip to the Isle of Islay, which is best known for its famous Islay whisky distilleries. One of the best things to do on the Isle of Islay is pay a visit to Bruichladdich Distillery, which produces its signature whisky as well as Botanist Gin.
In Brighton we visited a tiny micro-distillery called Brighton Gin, one of the best things to do in Brighton for G&T fans. We also stayed at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire to sip our way through the jaw-dropping home of renowned Bombay Sapphire.
Looking to plan the ultimate road trip of Canada to discover the best gins?
Our favourite Canadian gins include Ungava in Quebec, Tawse and Dillon’s in Niagara, Muskoka Brewery in Ontario cottage country, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits in Prince Edward County, North of 7 in Ottawa, Dixon’s in Guelph, Eau Claire Distillery in Alberta, Blackfox in Saskatoon, Ironworks Gin in Nova Scotia and Long Table Distillery in British Columbia.
Pink Gin Brands
Gin has enjoyed a boom in recent years and pink gin seems to be the trendiest niche segment. You’ll find fantastic flavoured pink gins distilled from Scotland to Muskoka. Here are some of our favourite Pink Gin brands:
- Beefeater London Pink Gin: flavoured with strawberries.
- Malfy Gin Rosa: Italian bottle flavoured with Sicilian pink grapefruit.
- Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin: flavoured with the natural sweetness of strawberries, raspberries and red currants.
- Warner’s Raspberry Gin: flavoured with raspberries and blackberries.
- Pinkster Gin: flavoured with real raspberries.
- The English Drink Company’s Classic Pink: flavoured with pomegranate and chinchona bark.
- Greenall’s Wild Berry Pink Gin: flavoured with raspberries and blackberries.
- Burleighs Gin Pink Edition: inspired by a trip to Tokyo, Japan and flavoured with cherry blossom, hibiscus, rose and pink grapefruit.
- Edinburgh Gin: This craft distillery in Edinburgh produces a parade of rouge-tinted bottles perfect for muddling in a pink gin cocktail: flavours include rhubarb & ginger gin, raspberry gin, bramble & honey gin, black currant & anise, strawberry & pink peppercorn and pomegranate & rose.
- Dillon’s Distillery: This Beamsville producer produces small batch rose gin, cherry gin and strawberry gin.
- Muskoka Brewery: This Ontario craft brewery produces a spicy pink peppercorn gin.
Pink Gin Mixer
We’ll assume you’ve now fetched a few bottles at your local liquor store and are ready to discover the perfect pink gin mixer.
People buy pink gin for its pretty colour so it’s important to use a pink gin mixer that will compliment or accentuate the final heroic hue.
A fun idea is to gather your favourite gays and girlfriends to host a Pink Gin Mixer Party. Tell each guest to bring a juice, tonic or homemade syrup, potluck-styles.
Pink Gin Cocktails are also popular for romantic couples at Valentine’s Day, during the holidays at Christmas or when you’re looking for a thirst-quenching sip on a hot summer day to rival your favourite cold glass of rose wine.
Transparent mixers help showcase the pink gins natural colour so our go to favourites are soda water (or Soda Stream) and tonic. We also love using flavoured seltzers and Italian Soda like San Pellegrino Limonata.
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before purchasing a selection of gin mixers for a swanky soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartenders best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
Easy Pink Gin Cocktails
If you’re looking to make easy pink gin cocktails its best that you research each bottles ingredient list. This will help you amplify the flavours of the pink gin with your mix and garnishes.
Here are some of our favourite flavour profile suggestions when shaking up Pink Gin Cocktails:
- Grapefruit: if you’re muddling a pink gin made with Sicilian pink grapefruit, mix the drink with San Pellegrino Pompelmo, add a dash of grapefruit bitters and garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice.
- Strawberry: if you’re using a pink gin flavoured with strawberry, mix the drink with fresh strawberry juice, a glug of sparkling water and fresh strawberry slices.
- Raspberry: if you’re using a pink gin flavoured with raspberry, mix the cocktail with Chambord, a spritz of tonic and fresh raspberries.
- Cherry: if you’re using a pink gin flavoured with cherry, mix the drink with dark cherry juice, a whisper of cherry liqueur and garnish with a sweet Luxardo cherry.
- Rhubarb: if you’re using a pink gin flavoured with rhubarb, shake the cocktail with homemade rhubarb syrup, a generous pour of rhubarb cider and stir with a teaspoon of strawberry rhubarb jam.
Classic Pink Gin Cocktail
Begin your pink gin cocktail adventure by sampling the original recipe courtesy of the British Navy.
Add 2oz of your favourite London dry gin to a cocktail mixer with ice and muddle with 3-4 dashes of Angostura bitters. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Pink Gin & Soda
Pair a pink-coloured flavoured gin like Malfy Gin Rosa with soda or sparkling water.
In a cocktail glass add two ice cubes, 2 oz pink gin, 0.5 oz homemade simple syrup and top with soda. Swirl with a cocktail spoon. Garnish with fresh berries, sliced fruit or citrus wedge.
Pink Gin & Tonic
In a glass with ice, combine 1.5 oz Warner’s Raspberry Gin with 2 oz of tonic water and 2 oz soda. Give a quick stir and garnish with raspberries.
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker combine 2 oz of pink gin like Muskoka Brewery’s Butterfly Effect Pink Peppercorn Gin with 1 oz of white vermouth with one dash of cranberry bitters.
Stir until well-chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a big twist of lemon peel and sweet cherry.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 oz pink gin, 0.5 oz red vermouth and 0.5 oz Aperol. Stir until the outside of the shaker feels cold. Garnish with a basil leaf.
Lavender Pink Gin Sour
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine 2 oz Beefeater London Pink Gin, 0.75 oz lemon juice, 0.5 oz simple syrup, 1 egg white and 2 dashes of lavender bitters. Shake for 20 seconds and pour into an ice filled glass.
Pink 75 Gin Cocktail
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1.5 oz Pink Gin, 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice, and 0.5 oz simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a flute. Top with 3 oz of sparkling wine and garnish with a strawberry.
Pink Gin Spritz
Fill a large wine glass with ice and 2 oz of Gordon’s Pink Gin. Add 2 oz sparkling wine, 4 oz lemonade, a squeeze of fresh lemon and garnish with strawberries.
Bombay Bramble Pink Gin & Tonic
Fill a large wine glass with ice and 2 oz of Bombay Sapphire’s Bramble, a gin infused with blackberry and raspberry. Top with 4 oz of tonic water and garnish with your favourite berries.
We visited the distillery just outside of Victoria and were thrilled to discover they’ve launched a new pink gin called Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin.
To make the pretty Negroni Rosa cocktail add 1.5 oz Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin, 0.75 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and 0.75 oz of Dry Vermouth in an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake then strain into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist.
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