Easy now. Don’t think pink means sticky sweet or super girly. When we talk pink gins we talk only the best, and our discerning palette has no patience for candy-flavoured spirits. Here are our favourites. —Catherine Dunwoody
Brits know their gin, and Bombay Sapphire’s latest, Bombay Bramble, ($31 at BC Liquor Stores) is brand new in Canada this summer and gets its deep pink colour from the 100 per cent natural flavours of fresh blackberries and raspberries with no added sugar. Add a splash of Fever-Tree tonic and ice, then watch it soften to a gorgeous hot-pink hue.
Here’s your next party trick. Take a bottle of Empress1908 Gin ($50 at BC Liquor Stores) with its deep indigo colour and splash it in a glass. Add ice and tonic, and voila! It magically turns to a gorgeous shade of blush. This gin is a collaboration between Victoria Distillers and the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria and has notes of the hotel’s famous Empress Blend tea plus butterfly pea blossom and citrus. Try the Theodora cocktail, recipe here:
2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.75 oz lavender honey syrup
0.25 oz rose water
Rinse chilled coupe glass with rose water. Shake gin, lemon and syrup on ice and strain into the coupe. Garnish with a sprig of lavender or edible flower.
Romeo’s Gin X ($44 at Jak’s) is trademarked by the brand as the anti-pink gin, and the graffiti-esque bottle design is by Montreal artist Miss Me. Fun fact: watermelon and cucumber share the same aromatic molecules as both are from the cucurbit family. Watermelon distillate is added to this pale pink gin with its notes of juniper, lavender and cucumber, resulting in a super-fresh, not sweet spirit.
Provence’s Mirabeau Dry Rose Gin ($82 exclusively at Jak’s) is infused with rose petals, herbs and citrus and is lovely sipped straight or in a perfect martini using just a drop of vermouth. If you go the G&T route, garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary. The bottle alone is spectacular.