Gin and Bitters go together like peanut butter and jelly. Pink Gin is a simple drink combining gin with a generous dosing of Angostura Bitters. The Brits like to make it with Plymouth Gin and Angostura neat, offering no embellishment other than a twist of lemon. No doubt a bracer and one that I dare say would need ice for me to squelch down. Warm gin does not entice me!
Another version of Pink Gin comes in a recipe bestowed upon us from literary great Ernest Hemingway. In The Gentleman’s Companion, Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask, Charles Baker pens his recounts of fishing and drinking with Hemingway.
“We got Hemingway’s other picker-upper, and liked it. Take a tall thin water tumbler and fill it with finely cracked ice. Lace this broken debris with four good purple splashes of Angostura, add the juice and crushed peel of one green lime, and fill the glass almost full with Holland gin . . . No sugar, no fancying. It’s strong, it’s bitter – but so is English ale strong and bitter, in many cases. We don’t add sugar to ale, and we don’t need sugar in a Death In The Gulf Stream – or at least not more than one teaspoon. Its tartness and its bitterness are its chief charm. It is reviving and refreshing; cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”
This version of Pink Gin was used as a Hemingway hang-over remedy, aptly named “Death in the Gulf Stream”. Ernest’s choice of gin for this drink was Holland. I tried this Hemingway reviver and strongly suggest adding a few extra teaspoons of bar sugar to round out sharp tart edges. I also recommend drinking this strong drink a bit later in the day when ones commitments are fulfilled.
Pink Gin is a great summer drink to take the edge off of these 90 degree days. I enjoy it with good old Boodles, London Dry Gin served over cracked ice, with sugar and lime, painfully cold. There are a few distillers that have recently come out with pre-mixed Pink Gin but it really takes nothing more than some gin, some Angostura, lots of ice and a strong constitution. Stay Cool!