|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Standard drinkware||Cocktail glass|
|Commonly used ingredients|
|Preparation||Chill the glass, then coat the inside with the Bitters. Add the gin very well chilled, garnish and serve.|
|Notes||The traditional garnish is a shave of lemon rind. You can obtain this by removing about an inch strip of lemon rind with a potato peeler.|
Pink gin is a cocktail made fashionable in England in the mid-19th century, consisting of Plymouth gin and a dash of Angostura bitters, a dark red bitters that makes the whole drink pinkish. Lemon rind is also commonly used as a garnish, with the citrus essential oils subtly complementing the flavour.
Pink gin is widely thought to have been created by members of the Royal Navy. Plymouth gin is a 'sweet' gin, as opposed to London gin which is 'dry', and was added to Angostura bitters to make the consumption of Angostura bitters more enjoyable as they were used as a treatment for sea sickness in 1824 by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert.
The British Royal Navy then brought the idea for the drink to bars in England, where this method of serving was first noted on the mainland. By the 1870s, gin was becoming increasingly popular and many of the finer establishments in England were serving pink gins.[unreliable source?]
A typical pink gin is one part gin and one dash of angostura bitters.
Though there are no major variations of pink gin, many bartenders vary the amount of angostura bitters used. Typically the drink is topped up with iced water, rarely without water.
A bartender may ask customers whether they want it "in or out", upon which the bartender swirls the angostura bitters around the glass before either leaving it in, or pouring it out (leaving only a residue), and then adding the gin.
It is also common for pink gin to be served as 'pink gin and tonic', typically consisting of 4 dashes of angostura bitters and 2 shots of gin, which is then topped up with tonic water. This is served in a highball glass over ice, and then can be garnished with lemon.
Cedric Charles Dickens (great-grandson of Charles Dickens) records in Drinking With Dickens that a 'Burnt Pink Gin' consists of 1 tsp Angostura burnt by heating over a flame and then poured into "a large tot dry gin".
In popular culture
- In his 1930 book, The Gentleman in the Parlour, Somerset Maugham's is repeatedly drinking "gin and bitters", seemingly the most favoured alternative to Gin and Tonic in Britain's Asian colonies at that time.
- Cathy Wilson (Deborah Kerr) asks her husband (Robert Donat) to get her a pink gin in the pub in the 1945 movie Perfect Strangers.
- The drink is repeatedly ordered in Patrick Hamilton's 1947 novel The Slaves of Solitude.
- Pink gin is a popular drink in Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter (1948) and in The Comedians (1966).
- In the 1953 film adaptation of Nicholas Monsarrat's book, The Cruel Sea, Lockhart (Donald Sinden) meets Ericson (Jack Hawkins) at a London hotel where they both drink pink gin. In a somewhat rewritten scene in the BBC Radio 4 Extra adaptation of 2013, the pair drink gin and tonic.
- In the 1957 Nevil Shute novel, On the Beach, several of the main characters drink pink gin.
- Pink gin is ordered by David Tomlinson in Up the Creek (1958).
- In the 1960 movie, A Touch of Larceny, Virginia Killain (Vera Miles) offers Commander Max Easton (James Mason) a pink gin when he goes up to her apartment to return her glove.
- Pink gin was drunk by Hattie (Jean Simmons) in The Grass Is Greener (1960). She liked her bitters to be burnt with a match prior to adding the gin.
- Count Alfredo orders a pink gin in "The Good Medicine", Season 2, Episode 21 of the British mystery spy thriller TV series The Saint. (1964)
- In the 1965 James Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun, Bond orders a pink gin with Beefeater and "plenty of bitters" in the bar of the Thunderbird Hotel in Jamaica, which is operated by his nemesis Francisco Scaramanga.
- Pink gin is ordered by Capt. Peacock in S08 Ep06 of the 1970s British comedy "Are You Being Served?"
- Pink gin is mentioned in the song "Alcohol" by The Kinks on their 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies, in which Ray Davies sings, "Barley wine, pink gin, he'll drink anything, port, pernod or tequila"
- Pink gin is mentioned twice in John le Carré's novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974). Control makes a sour remark about Percy Alleline discussing intelligence with an Admiralty official over a pink gin at the Travellers Club, and it is the drink of choice of Jerry Westerby.
- William Leigh (played by Denholm Elliott) orders a pink plymouth in the movie "Saint Jack" directed by Peter Bogdanovich (1979)
- Bigelow (Alec Guinness) orders "Two pink gins, full measure and don't skimp on the Angostura" in the movie Raise the Titanic (1980)
- Pink gin was often consumed by Mr. Glodstone in Tom Sharpe's 1982 novel Vintage Stuff.
- In the 1989 episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot, titled Triangle at Rhodes, some of the characters drink pink gin, one such cocktail being used as the delivery method of a deadly poison.
- In the 1992 Agatha Raisin novel by M. C. Beaton, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, a working-class character drinks pink gin, prompting Agatha to ask, "Where had Mrs. Cartwright learned to drink pink gins? Surely Bacardi Breezers, lager and lime, rum and Coke would have been more to her taste."
- Lottie Cassell offers a pink gin to Logan Mountstuart in Episode 1 of the Channel 4 TV series Any Human Heart. 2010 (UK), 2011 (US).
- "Plymouth Pink Gin Cocktail Recipe".
- "Gin cocktail recipes II". Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- "Great Cocktails: Pink Gin". Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "Angostura Bitters". Archived from the original on 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "Bitters in the bar". Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "The History of Gin". The BBC. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
- "Pink Gin and Tonic". In The Spirit. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- Drinking With Dickens. Elvendon Press. 1998-04-21. ISBN 9781461732693.
- 1874–1965., Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset) (2001). The gentleman in the parlour. London: Vintage. ISBN 0099286777. OCLC 59531258.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- Hamilton, Patrick. "The Slaves of Solitude." New York Review of Books. 2007. Print. pg. 89