The first version of Pink Gin came into being when British Sailors picked up Angostura Bitters sometime around 1830, after it was created in the Venezuelan town of Angostura in 1824 by Simon Bolivar. He had created and developed it as a remedy for (and is still today used for) stomach complaints. so they mixed it with their gin on-board ship for sea sickness. A light dash or two of Angostura bitters will turn the gin pink, and so the name and the first version of the drink were born.
Couple of things to note here:
Firstly, military men inventing and drinking a pink drink. So, if you know a man who still has issues with drinking something that’s pink, tell them to get over it! Pink is for everyone
A Martini is ordered by how Dry you like it, meaning how much Vermouth you want in your drink. A Pink Gin is traditionally ordered ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’, which relates to how much Angostura Bitters you want with your Gin. This is a throwback to Naval times when sailors on-board ship would pour Angostura Bitters into their tankard, swill it around, then pour the excess OUT into their mate’s tankard because they had limited supplies to go around. Officers on the other hand, had all the rations of Bitters they wanted and so could keep as much IN their glass as they liked.
More flavoursome than the ever popular Vodka Soda, it’s a great way to enjoy gin long without loads of sugar. If you really can’t do gin and want to stick to Vodka, no worries, but try the bitters in there too…you might just like it!
Whichever gin or vodka you use, go light on the Angostura to start with. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away or balance it out.