Having recently picked up a half-priced(!) bottle of Plymouth Gin at BevMo, I am once more enjoying Pink Gins. Now, I tend to have a fair amount of gin in my possession at all times, but a Pink Gin is one of the few drinks where it really must be made with only one brand of gin.

Pink Gin

  • Plymouth Gin
  • 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, pour gin over ice and add bitters. Technically you should stir until cold, although shaking is also ok. Pour into a cocktail (martini) glass and enjoy.

Some people drink it with the gin warm, the thought of which always makes my skin crawl. Also, it’s common to prepare by coating the glass (sometimes shot glass) in bitters and dumping out the extra instead of adding it directly in. Just a little variation makes a noticeable difference, so it’s worth the delight of experimenting to find your optimal proportions.

The Pink Gin has a proud history. I’ve read various accounts, all of which seem to match Wikipedia’s note: “Pink gin is a typically English way of enjoying gin. It was made popular worldwide by members of the Royal Navy, where it rose to prominence because the Angostura bitters were a cure for seasickness.”

Incidentally, does anyone know of a good place to buy spirits in San Diego? BevMo is ok, but they’re sometimes too much of a chain to carry the really good stuff.


  1. I have several questions. 1) Why Plymouth, specifically? 2) Doesn’t shaking bruise the gin? and 3) Wouldn’t it get seriously diluted if you really “stirred until cold”? This has always been my problem with stirring.

    What a lovely site. Your photo is particularly outstanding.

    OK, I’m just being an asshole with question 2).

  2. What a wonderful set of questions!

    1) Plymouth is a dry gin, so it’s not one of the aromatics (like Hendricks, Magellan, etc.). The aromatics make, in my opinion, a simply delightful martini but they end up fighting with the bitters a bit in a Pink Gin. Angostura bitters have some pepper to them, and this plays well with the sharper, dryer gins. Finally, Plymouth is historically the Pink Gin gin, and who am I to contradict hundreds of years of proud gin drinkers? I believe BevMo actually sells the higher proof version of Plymouth (“Navy Strength”), but I haven’t tried it.

    2) Let’s not even go there. It’s a religious war for martini snobs which I’ve somehow avoided so far. I stir because, often after I’ve had a martini or two, I can convince myself that the stirred texture is a little thicker and I prefer that.

    3) You can get a little more water when stirring, but not as much as I used to think. It turns out that when you’re shaking a martini you end up chipping flakes off the ice cubes which also contributes to melt. Stirred martinis take a little longer, but I believe end up with great tasting, aesthetically pleasing (a martini should be clear, not cloudy) martini. There may also be some texture differences. Frankly, for a Pink Gin I think you’re good either way.

    Thanks for the compliment on the photo! I remain surprised at how well it came out, given my photo and photoshop skills.

  3. Neeerrrd!

    Those are fascinating answers. I propose a sailor-themed party with a bottle of Navy Strength.

  4. You are suggesting a party where we drink a lot of gin (including some I have yet to try) and I get to smoke my pipe. It is quite possibly the best idea ever. After Prombie.

  5. Am completing consumption of first-ever Pink Gin, according to your recipe. Have decided you are Cocktail God. Yum.