Pink Gin, often also called “Gin & Bitters,” is a classic cocktail made of Plymouth gin and Angostura bitters, which became the cult drink during the mid 19th century in the United Kingdom. The Angosutra bitters prescribed in the classic Pin Gin recipe which adds a dash of “pink” color to the drink (from which the cocktail derives its name) is a dark red colored gentian spice extract, known in Venezuela since the 1820s although it is now, sourced from Tobago and Trinidad.
History of Pink Gin Recipe
The Pink Gin recipe was first formulated by the Royal Navy to use this Angostura bitter potion for the medical treatment of their sailors as well as for making the gentian extract more palatable. The effectiveness of angostura bitters in curing sea sickness was brought to the surface by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in 1824, though its medicinal properties were known since long before, and he established the House of Angostura company for selling bitters to the sailors, which eventually inspired the Royal Navy to introduce it to the England bars and by 1870s, the Pink Gin became very popular. Moreover, a drink called “Gin Pahit” was often mentioned in the sailor stories of the 19th century, most notably in the stories of W. Somerset Maugham, which is the same as the Pink Gin drink and the “Pahit” in the name was the Malay word for bitters.
Pink Gin Recipe: Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation
The Pink Gin cocktail is made with the sweet gin “Plymouth” and few dashes of the Angostura bitters. The ingredients are mixed together in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and stirred for sometime before being strained and served in cocktail glasses. For every part of gin, one dash of bitters is used.
Serving and Drinking Pink Gin
The commonest garnish used when serving Pink Gin is the lemon rind as the citrus lemon oils are known to complement the flavor of the cocktail. In UK, the cocktail is commonly served over ice in a highball glass with a lemon garnish.
Pink Gin Recipe: Popular Variations
Many bartenders experiment with the amount of angostura bitters to be used in the drink and often, the Pink Gin may be topped with chilled water. Moreover, depending on the drinker’s choice if he/she wants the drink “in or out,” the mixologist swirls the bitters around the cocktail glasses leaving it inside it or pours out the bitter leaving only its residue and then, mixes in the gin. In the United Kingdom, Pink Gin is commonly served as 'pink gin and tonic,' which comprises four dashes of bitters and double shots of the gin and is topped with tonic water.