Pink Gin

“I’d been thinking about these and wanting one all week,” Wes said. Neither of us are sure how it popped into his head, but I’m glad it did.

This drink goes back to the days of the British Navy, when sailors lucky enough to get a ration of Plymouth Navy Strength Gin would also take a few dashes of Angostura bitters in it, for the medicinal tonic effects of course, but y’know … it’s pretty darn tasty too. Later on a slightly more elegant presentation was served in the officers’ clubs of the British Raj as well. In his book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Dr. Cocktail twiddled with the recipe a bit, noting that it’s a cocktail containing only two ingredients — gin and bitters — both of which are feared by some. His solution, of course, is to increase the amounts of both the gin and the bitters. And voilà, it works! Beautifully. He calls for “six goodly dashes” of Angostura, but Wes decided to go in a slightly more New Orleanian direction. If you prefer the original, by all means stick to the Angostura.

Pink Gin
(Wes’ New Orleans-style)

3 ounces Plymouth gin.
4 hefty dashes Angostura bitters.
2 hefty dashes Peychaud’s bitters.

Combine with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish.
(Optional: You may build in a rocks glass over ice and serve on the rocks. Stir well before serving.)


And it’s not girly-drink-pink either (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course) but a beautiful pinkish-reddish-orangish color. The drink’s name came from the days when in Britain one would only put a dash or two of bitters at most, not an ungodly (and delicious) six goodly ones.

I have yet to try a Pink Gin made solely with Peychaud’s bitters. Has anyone? Does it work? Maybe I’ll make a wee one and give it a try later on …