The original Pink Gin recipe dates all the way back to the mid 19th century England. The original recipe called for the use of Plymouth Gin, but any Gin of your choice should work. The drink is sometimes just referred to as Gin and Bitters.
The original recipe for Pink Gin martini is said to have been created by the members of the Royal Navy of England. The drink was supposed to make the consumption of the “bitter” bitters easier and palatable by adding the “sweeter” Plymouth Gin. The bitter was considered to be medicinal and a treatment for sea-sickness with in the navy.
The Pink Gin can be served in a couple of different ways. It can be served in a short-ball or an old-fashioned glass with or with the ice. It can also be served as a martini, which is my personal preference.
- 3 shots of Gin
- 3 to 4 dashes of orange bitters (or Angostura bitters)
- Lemon peel for garnish
As a Martini
- Add some ice cubes into a martini shaker
- Add 3 shots of your favorite Gin into the shaker
- Add 3 or 4 dashes of orange bitters into the shaker
- Shake well to mix the ingredients
- Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass
- Garnish the drink with a lemon peel
As a Short Ball
- Add some ice cubes into a old-fashioned glass
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes to chill the glass
- Empty the glass of ice cubes
- Add several dashes of bitters into the glass
- Swirl the bitters around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the glass
- Now add 3 shots of Gin into the glass
Variations and Similar Drinks
As you can imagine given the ingredients, there is really no true variation of the drink. Depending on the bitters, you could vary the proportion of the bitters to alter the taste of the drink.
The drink is sometimes topped off with tonic water , similar to a Gin and Tonic. The drink is then called Pink Gin and Tonic.
Another variation is to experiment with different bitters and Gin. Although, it may probably not still be the Pink Gin cocktail, you might discover something similar that suits your tastes better.
Some recipes call for orange bitters while others call for Angostura bitters. Orange bitters are not very easy to come by, so you can use either of the two.
Some of the other popular orange bitters are Fee Brothers and Bols. There might also some small and local makers that produce orange bitters, such as Bittercube. I have used my own homemade bitters in this drink.
As you must have realized, traditionally sweeter tasting Gin has been preferred in Pink Gin in order to mitigate the taste of bitters. In modern times, the bitters is used more used for flavor, so the type of Gin should not matter as much.