The Pink Gin Cocktail
In my take on the classic Martini, I railed against pouring solid gin or vodka in my cocktail glass and calling it a Martini. To me, a Martini has vermouth. If I want to sip straight vodka, I’ll have it served on the rocks in a heavy glass. If it is near straight gin that I want (and if the gin is of appropriate quality) I will order the venerable Pink Gin cocktail. It is a gin lovers cocktail and is the perfect selection when you find yourself in a bar that can’t seem to make a decent Martini.
Simply put, the Pink Gin is two shots (three ounces) of quality gin that fall into a glass that has been lined with three to eight dashes of Agnostura bitters and a lemon twist. The Pink Gin is a real classic that calls to an age when a hard and bitter cocktail was more appreciated than one generally finds today.
If ordering one today, it is best to tell your bartender the amount of Agnostura you require. This is due to the fact that many bars complete the drink with only two or three dashes of bitters for fear of offending a sweet-toothed patron with a truly adult taste. A good bartender may ask you whether you want it “in or out.” While this seems forward, they are only asking if you want the bitters left in the drink after they are used to coat the glass or not. In the U.K., it is also quite common to find bar goers holding a pink gin and tonic. This would be served in a rocks glass and topped with (hopefully good) tonic water.
As we are seeing something of a gin renaissance, this is the perfect time to rediscover the Pink Gin. Perfect, to be sure, with a number of classic London dry gins, I suggest that you venture out and try any number of the newcomers on the block. I am a devotee of Hendricks but also have enjoyed the Pink Gin with No. 209 and Aviation gins. To me, however, it answers a higher calling when made with Martin Miller’s gin or Junipero gin from Anchor Distilling.
Try the Pink Gin the next time you find yourself in an establishment that hosts a proper assortment of fine gins.
3 – 8 dashes of Agnostura bitters, based on your taste (I like
2 shots (3 ounces of gin)
1. Place the bitters in a chilled cocktail glass and swirl to coat the whole glass.
2. Place the gin in an ice filled cocktail shaker and stir gin slowly to chill.
3. Strain the gin into the cocktail glass.