Pink Gin is long thought of as a drink invented and favored by the officers of the Royal Navy, consisting of Plymouth Gin (the Gin of choice by Her Majesty’s fleet) and Angostura bitters, a known curative for sea sickness. The name derives from the light, pinkish hue gleaned from the addition of the Angostura bitters. The actual recipe is one jigger of Plymouth Gin to one dash of Angostura bitters, topped with water and garnished with a lemon twist. Variations are fairly simple – adding more bitters to intensify the grip, washing the glass with bitters (out) instead of adding the dashes directly (in) and using tonic water instead of fresh water to top up the cocktail all create subtle riffs on a consistent theme. The use of Plymouth Gin is important because it is more floral and considered almost “sweet” in the mouth as opposed to traditional London Dry Gin. I’ve had Pink Gins with both styles of Gin and my preference is definitely Plymouth. I have not tried Navy Strength Plymouth Gin (57.5%). One can only imagine what that might do to this straightforward potion.
In the spirit of ready-made cocktails, the folks at The Bitter Truth have concocted their take on the Pink Gin. A lovely salmon rose color, traditionally aromatic nose with a slightly sweet flavor, the BT Pink Gin is more a flavored Gin than an actual Pink Gin. No matter, the ease of being able to pour out one’s cocktail without any fuss is greatly appreciated.
So, if you are looking for something quintessentially English, then mix up a Pink Gin and say All Aboard!