Just two ingredients: gin and bitters. Anything but demure, the Pink Gin was a favorite of the Royal Navy in the nineteenth century, as bitters worked its magic curing everything from seasickness to indigestion. You can see why warm gin and bitters didn’t catch on like a cosmopolitan, but this bitters-stained cocktail makes for an elegant and potent affair. In Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits, Ted Haigh suggests serving this icy cold with six “goodly dashes” of bitters. I’d start with four and take it up to six if that’s your game.
A traditional method of introducing the bitters to the gin is to sprinkle the Angostura into a coupe glass and turn the glass around until the glass is coated. Since warm gin and bitters isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I prefer to serve the Pink Gin chilled to the bone. Try it. As David Wondrich said of the Pink Gin in Esquire, “It’s considerably smoother than one has any right to expect.”
Reprinted with permission from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.