There’s a selection of gin cocktails whose stories are inevitably connected to the Royal Navy, and this is one of them. Pink Gin is one of those extremely old drinks, popular in the 19th century, especially among Subjects of the Crown while serving at sea. But don’t let that fool you. Pink Gin is a strong, put-you-under-the-table kind of drink, in spite of it’s beauty and color. It’s also the simplest cocktail you’ll ever pour.
There’s not much to it, the Pink Gin is gin and bitters, so pick a good gin. Historically, this drink calls for Plymouth Gin, or a “Navy Strength” gin. Given the lack of ingredients in this, we avoid the stout Navy Strength option in favor of a more reasonable sipper. Making this with Plymouth Gin is a smart move, so we stay away from the usual London dry gins and reach for Aviation. Honestly, Aviation in any stirred gin cocktail works very well, and since we favor it for Martinis, it only seemed proper to use it for something similar.
But gin is clear! Yes it is. That wonderful pink color comes from aromatic bitters, and we recommend using a generous helping. Four dashes should do just fine, and, since we’re using a local gin, let’s also use a local bitters. Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters is a perfect choice. While Angostora is the traditional bitters, and a perfectly serviceable option, Scrappy’s just adds distinction without sacrificing quality. You also might want to experiment. Scrappy’s Bitters are flavorful, maybe a bit more than other brands, so proceed accordingly. It doesn’t stop us, though. We still dash like we’re putting out a fire, because that’s how we like our Pink Gin. Just remember, it’s a hammer that sips easy, especially when ice cold. Serve it up, or on the rocks, it works either way.
2 oz Aviation Gin
4-6 dashes Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters
Mix this one of two ways. Either add the bitters to the gin and stir, or wash a glass with bitters, stir the gin and pour it in. We like it served up in a rocks glass.