Gin is an excellent juniper infused liquid and is one of the most popular spirits, loved by millions. London dry gin is a well-known favourite which is clear in colour. However, recently gins pink sibling, pink gin, has been gaining popularity.
The history of pink gin
You may think pink gin is new on the scene, but it dates back to the 19th century in South America. Simon Bolivar's army was experiencing high levels of sickness during Spanish colonialism. In 1824, a surgeon called Dr Johann Siegert, who worked for the army during the struggle, was on the hunt to discover a cure for stomach upset. This was a massive issue for the army at the time, and it needed someone with expertise to solve it.
Dr Siegert was on a mission to solve this, and he went to create a tonic that would later help this; it had an extract in it called gentian; he called his mixture Amargo Aromatico. Dr Siegert was working in a town called Angostura, and he named his mixture after this. Some people would argue Dr Siegert found this incredible extract on his own. It is very much true that Dr Siegert's tonic helped treat the problem around an upset stomach.
Six years later, his clever remedy to help sickness was sent to England, where the sailors in the British royal navy could benefit from it. The British wanted to make this anti-sickness bitter more palatable, so they then added gin to it. This was when the pink gin cocktail was invented! It's a win-win, I would say!
What makes it pink?
When you look at a bottle of pink gin, it's a beautiful colour like rosé wine; the gin itself is very pleasing to the eye. Pink gin rose to fame between 2010-present; over the past decade, the interest in gin has grown year on year. What makes a true genuine pink gin is the original invention, which the British royal navy made with the bitters, the extracts from the flowers and spices in the bitters are a deep red colour, so when mixed with gin, it turns pink! Essentially pink gin is London Dry Gin infused with Angostura bitters. As simple as that.
It seems like nearly every distiller now is turning their beloved gin pink to meet the demand. What I find interesting is the number of different botanicals you can use to turn it pink, From hibiscus, which we use in our gin-making kits, to rhubarb to strawberries; the list goes on! A pink gin does look better than a clear one, and gin lovers love it!
What does it taste like?
Now, if you google pink gin, you'll notice there are hundreds to choose from. Many of them vary in botanicals, tastes and even shades of pink, but if I said to you pink gin, you would most likely think of Gordon's pink gin. It is the global bestseller in the pink gin category. The reason for this isn't just the colour but the refreshing sweetness, gorgeous smell and the perfect balance of juniper. Their pink gin works perfectly to balance the sweetness, but you still get a good taste of their classic London dry. It is a much different taste from the original pink gin created back in the 1800s with Angostura bitter, but it works very well.
Why is it so popular?
Pink gin is swirling across social media, from beautiful pink cocktails with edible flowers on top to pink gin filled copa glasses with strawberry garnishes. In the 21st century, if something is instagramable, it will sell well. People are in love with their pink gin creations, and a lot of people are now introduced to gin through this new phenomenon.
Our favourite top five pink gins
Malfy Rosa Gin
Welcomed with pink grapefruit, rhubarb followed with delicious juniper and a soft touch of thyme.
Mirbeau rose gin
Juniper led with citrus, herbal and earthy tones. A soft touch of grape and citrus to finish off. If you love rose wine, you'll love this gin!
Manchester Gin raspberry infused
Juniper led with a burst of floral and citrus, balanced our with sweet raspberry to finish off.
Chase Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin
Mouthwatering citrus with juniper and spice coming through. The perfect balance for a gin lover who likes pink gin every so often.
Salcombe Gin rose sainte marie
Relax your taste buds with lavender and rose at the start, followed by fresh juniper, spice and a little bit of sweet fruit to finish off.
Make your own Pink Gin.
With our Ultimate Gin Making Kit, you will be able to make up to 10 bottles of your own unique botanical rich, fragrant gin. This includes creating your own show-stopping colour-changing gin and beautiful pink gin. Also, check out our hand-made crystal copa glasses to display your pink G&T in style.
We love seeing your creations - tag us on instagram @vemacityuk to let us know how you got on making your own pink gin..