Gins ‘n’ Roses – Blushing Tipples to Drink Pink this Spring
I’ve always wanted to open an article by quoting Aerosmith’s leading man Steven Tyler and now I have the perfect excuse for it: “Pink it’s my new obsession, pink it’s not even a question”, he sang in the 90’s classic tune named after the colour that millennials can’t get enough of.
While it’s been (can you believe it?) over twenty years since the track was launched, our obsession with blush’s hue is stronger than ever.
And it’s not just rosé the wine, a style long underestimated that has experienced an Instagram-fuelled revival in recent years. Rosy versions of neutral coloured food and drinks have grown exponentially and R&D departments have gone the extra mile to pinkify what goes into our dishes, cups and glasses.
Last year, for example, we saw the introduction of ruby chocolate, which was instantly dubbed “Millennial Pink Chocolate.” Less than six months later, the innovation went viral again as ruby KitKats hit shelves in the land of mad snack flavours, Japan. If you wonder how does that liaise with your drinks, how about a comforting cup of pink hot chocolate?
A few weeks ago, headlines were made again by another staple product that had always been brown: Starbucks had launched pink lattes. The bubblegum coloured cuppa is not even made from coffee, but that won’t stop it from getting likes.
And the trend is not going anywhere. 2018 might as well be directed by Wes Anderson, because drinks are getting quirkier, prettier, pinker and more ornate than ever. Style over substance? Just like when it comes to the man behind The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr. Fox, it depends on who you ask (spoilers: he rules at both).
La (Eau de) Vie in Rose
The fact that most food and drink consumer reports predicted floral flavours as one of the biggest trends for this year (find out more about this and other forecasts on our 2018 trends special) adds yet more fuel to the pink fire. Think lavender, rose and other petals garnishing and flavouring your spirits and cocktails.
We’ve seen rose gold tequila aged and blushed in Napa Cab Sauv casks, Strawberries and Cream Baileys that doubles as a cupcake flavour and pink Baileys cocktails that look like glammed up Pepto Bismol in a coupe, rose vodka which is actually blended with rosé wine into an Insta-friendly Frankenbeauty, and there is even a pink whiskey-based liqueur named Sweet Revenge which has a branding that is one part Kid Rock, one part Bratz Doll.
Gins ‘n’ Roses
But the spirit that has really excelled at painting the town pink is gin. From high end producers to discount retailers, from roses to rhubarb, the juniper spirit and its most famous rendition, the G&T, are just the perfect vehicle for experimentation and gleaming globe glasses of fragrance, flavour and beauty.
Pink gin is such a mainstream product now that you can find it in a supermarket and you can drink it in a suburban gastropub. Names small and big (Gordon’s and Beefeater big) are jumping into the pink gin bandwagon.
But the concept is far from new, in fact, “pink gin” originated in mid 19th century England when it was made by adding a dash of Angostura Bitters into Plymouth Gin. Fun fact, fictional spy extraordinaire and cocktail connoisseur James Bond indulged in one while in Jamaica in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Put your pink shades on and stock up. Below, some of our favourite pink tipples, to jump into spring with style and flavour.
€49.99 – Available at Castle Off Licence, Dollard & Co
Launched in 2013, Pinkster is a pioneer in this new wave and one of the best pink gins.
Raspberries are the signature botanical in this pale and delicate trope codifier that’s fruity, fresh and with a pleasant integration between the juniper notes, the berries and a peppery hint.
Gordon’s Pink Gin
A fine introduction to the world of pink gins created to please and at a very affordable price.
It’s inspired by a 19th century recipe and offers a smooth and slightly off dry palate filled with strawberries. The use of coriander adds a refreshing herbaceous note, and the juniper is more apparent on the palate.
Musgrave Pink Gin
Available in selected bars
This exotic pink gin comes from South Africa and unlike its fruity cousins from the UK, floral notes dominate this time.
It’s gentle and perfumed, with rose hip and rose water to thank for hue and aromas. It’s lightly coloured and even at a 43% ABV, it feels balanced and delicate.
Boon Framboise Lambic
€4.90 – Available at Drinkstore.ie
This is a Belgian lambic with an intense dark pink hue and an equally bold flavour. Lambics are a regional speciality, brewed with local yeast and often mixed with fruit, generally cherries or raspberries.
It offers an appealing balance between fruity tartness and sweetness, along with a yeasty, bread dough-like note.
Pamplemousse Rose Gabriel Boudier
€21.99 – Available at Celtic Whiskey Shop
The award-wining company behind it has produced creme de casis and other fruit liqueurs since 1874.
This ballerina pink grapefruit liqueur from Dijon is made with natural flavours and it is brilliant for spritzers or to add a citrusy touch to cocktails.
Belsazar Rosé Vermouth
€37 – Available at L. Mulligan Whiskey Shop and selected bars
A bittersweet symphony of citrus and flowers, delivered with an off dry palate and medium body.
It combines botanicals such as pink grapefruit, orange blossom and Seville orange into a dreamy garden of flavours. Ideal for low alcohol cocktails and spritzers.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.
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