They’re fresh, rosy and beautifully bottled, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
It’s a busy old place in the gin world right now. No sooner have you got to grips with the bounty of botanicals being distilled, along comes the shade of the season: Pink.
With master distillers celebrating la vie en rose, gin has suddenly turned deliciously feminine, with classic botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander and angelica crowned with rose buds, pink grapefruit peel and rhubarb.
“We’ve seen a definite trend in all drinks pink,” says Jenny Rea, product developer, cocktails & spirits, Marks & Spencer, who note’s that M&S’ Rose Colour Changing Gin, from Old Curiosity Distillery (below), is one of the most popular spirits they’ve launched.
“We’re finding that people really care about the aesthetics of what’s in their glass, as well as wanting their drink to taste great – so an Instagram-worthy gin that’s flavoured with delicious British rose is ticking all those boxes.”
1. British Rose Colour Changing Dry Gin (£25, 50cl, Marks & Spencer, in-store only)
And here she is. From a barely-there-blush, when tonic’s added the gin turns into a beautiful petal pink and the rose notes shine through this smooth, elegant gin, which has enticing florals on the finish.
2. City of London Rhubarb & Rose Gin (£35, 70cl, City of London Distillery)
With distinct bursts of juniper and notes of rhubarb, rose petals and a pinch of spice, this is a punchy gin with floral notes that’s actually clear in colour when poured. Pink in spirit, it’s also infinitely tasty.
3. Fifty Eight Gin, Apple and Hibiscus (£35.50, 50cl, 58 Gin)
Distilled in the heart of Hackney, London, but softly tailored, here we have a ballet-slipper-pink gin that’s beautifully poised, with a silky, delicate palate topped with the scents of flowers. Juniper forward with the natural sweetness of Pink Lady apples, and citrus notes on the smooth finish, it turns a delightful sunset orange when mixed with tonic.
4. Chapel Down Pinot Noir Gin (£35, 70cl, Chapel Down)
Celebrating the best of both worlds, Chapel Down’s dusty rose bottle marries winemaking and distilling with clear cut glass at the bottom, and the classic shoulders of a wine bottle. Distilled with pinot noir grape skins, this clever spirit has red berry aromas and features coriander, rose buds, citrus fruits, rosehip, angelica and grains of paradise (part of the ginger family). Perfectly balanced with juniper in the driving seat, it finishes fresh and citrusy.
5. 77 Blush Grapefruit and Rose Gin Liqueur (currently £16 from £18, 50cl, Tesco)
A few shades apart with their abv strength, gin liqueurs (20% abv) are also trending, and Bristol Distilling Co. have lovingly blended their classic dry with grapefruit and rose to create a clean, refreshing, fruity liqueur that mixes beautifully with tonic. You can also add it to a glass of prosecco to create the perfect and prettiest spritz. Ta-da!