Best pink gins for Valentine’s Day: 12 to try

Glass of gin with pink peonies
Pink Gin Valentine’s Day

For some gin fans, pink gin is a serious alternative to regular gin. Others just love the eye-catching bottles and mixing up a delicate rose-coloured Gin & Tonic in summer. Then there are the gin purists who think pink gin is a step too far away from classic styles.

So who’s right and just what is pink gin anyway?

What is pink gin?

Originally the term Pink Gin referred to a cocktail: a simple mix of Plymouth Gin and Angostura Bitters that became popular in England in the mid-19th century. If you want to make one at home, put 3-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters and 50ml of gin in a mixing glass or shaker with ice and stir well to chill and slightly dilute the gin. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Today the term pink gin is used to describe gins that are infused with a range of botanicals – from rose and rhubarb, to strawberries, raspberries and red currants – to give a distinct flavour and a rosy hue.

How does pink gin taste?

Production methods and botanicals vary, so when it comes to flavour, you might get a very citrussy pink gin, made with pink grapefruit, a delicate floral one made with roses or a fruity one made with berries. The choice is yours…

Arguably the best pink gins are the ones that retain a dry, juniper character alongside the added pink botanical flavours. So you get that familiar gin hit when you pair them with tonic or use them in cocktails.

But there’s also plenty to be said for mixing a gently fruity G&T, garnished with fresh berries, on a sunny afternoon or for Valentine’s Day. Take your pick of both styles from our recommendations below…

Best pink gins to try

1689 Authentic Dutch Pink Gin

This very pale pink gin is a taste of history, based on a recipe from 1689, that uses juniper berries, quince, pippin, lemon, orange, nutmeg, aniseed and clove. One for adventurous gin drinkers, it offers bold aromas and flavours – spice and tropical fruit aromas blend with more typical pink gin notes of cherry, ripe strawberries and strawberry bonbons on the nose. With plenty of fruit and spice on the palate, it makes a memorable G&T. Alcohol 42%

Cantium Rubesco

Cantium was the Roman name for Kent, which is where this English craft gin is made, using local botanicals such as Kentish lavender, apples, blackberries, hops, cobnuts and roasted chestnuts. Continuing the Roman theme, rubesco is Latin for redden or blush – and this gin gets its pink credentials from strawberries and raspberries, which feature prominently on the nose and palate, alongside floral hints and peppery spice. Cantium Rubesco is good for the planet too: it comes in a reusable pink flask which can be refilled with eco-pouches or reused to hold hot or cold drinks. Pair with Fever-Tree Lemon Tonic in a pink G&T. Alc 42%

Chapel Down Pinot Noir Gin

The perfect pink gin for wine lovers, this is distilled by English wine producer Chapel Down, which also makes a Chardonnay vodka. Made from distilled Pinot Noir grape skins and English wheat spirit, it’s infused with botanicals including coriander and rosehip. The pale pink hue comes from dried raspberries and strawberries. You’ll taste those berries on the deliciously creamy palate, along with clean citrus and plenty of juniper. Try it in a Tenterden Blush sparkling cocktail: 50ml of gin mixed with 50ml lemonade and topped with 25ml of Chapel Down Brut. Alc 41.2%

Chase Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo

Best known for its potato vodka and ‘field to bottle’ approach, Herefordshire farmers-turned-distillers Chase also make this zesty pink gin, which is distilled with pink grapefruit and pomelo peels. Packed with bold citrus aromas and flavours, it’s a zinger of a gin that delivers a sharp hit of grapefruit guaranteed to wake up your tastebuds. Pair with Fentimans Connoisseurs Tonic Water and garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit. Alc 40%

Henley Gin, Rhubarb & Orange

A newcomer to the UK’s distilling scene, Henley Distillery…

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Best pink gins for Valentine’s Day: 12 to try  
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