Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pink Gin

This week's drink is NOT an original, nor is it a creatively-interpreted tavern standard, but a traditional, pedigreed cocktail, with a respected recipe as set in stone as cocktail recipes get.

The Recipe:

- Into a Delmonico Glass, (AKA "Whiskey Sour Glass"):

- Add approximately two teaspoons of Bitters, and roll it around to coat the glass,

- Dump it out.

- Add a 4 count of Beefeater Gin,

- Add water to taste, (1/4 to 1/2 cup)

Bartender's Notes: Firstly, the recipe I have offered is from my days as a barman in Whitechapel Road in the east end of London. Pink Gin was always made to the same formula. It was drunk by the nearby market workers as well as the Girls working the area. It was a favorite among the working class, (Blue Collar,) often accompanied by a pint of bitter (Ale).

I am sure that Whitechapel’s most famous visitor ("JtR,") or one of his rather unfortunate “Friends” enjoyed a Pink Gin at some time.

Second: Do not add Ice. I never once added ice to a pink gin during all my years in London.

Next: The Tonic Water confusion: Angostura Bitters was first produced by DR. Johann Siegert of Germany when he was stationed at the port of Angostura in Venezuela. It was used as to eliaviate the many stomach disorders of that area. Angostura was added to tonic water by sailors and those in the West Indies to mask the flavor of quinine. Hence the confusion of adding tonic to a pink gin. It was not until 1830 when Bitters arrived in England that the tonic water was replaced by gin.

Lastly, if you do choose to change the recipe for Pink Gin then there are a few rules: Ask yourself, Are you paying? And are you drinking this yourself? If the answer is "yes" to both, then please, by all means, do what you want to it. Add a cherry and some fruit juice, Shake it and strain it into a chocolate rimmed martini glass. Garnish it with a straw umbrella and a twist of mango peel. Whatever you want, just don't call it a Pink Gin!

Chris's Notes: The bitters really brings out the flavor of the gin, and gives it a smoky, pine-y taste, like drinking something brewed in a forest. Or, as Kerry put it, " a sultry, late-autumn cocktail, with hints of smoke through the evergreens."



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