Tickled Pink: Gin distillers are giving the clear spirit a colourful make-over


Here at PretAirporter we’re all for colour and personality, but don’t necessarily agree with style over substance. So we raised our eyebrows when we heard about the latest craze for pink gin. It seems to be joining the line of other coloured food fads: rainbow bagels, unicorn frappes and goth ice cream to name just a few.

Let’s start with the basics. Gin is a distilled alcohol that must be flavoured with juniper. The typical botanicals used include: angelica, orange, lemon, anise, caraway, coriander and orris. Each distiller has their own combination of ingredients to make their product unique and the exact recipes are closely guarded secrets.

But in recent years, there’s been something of a gin revolution. As the number of artisanal producers has increased, so too have the range of flavours available. From understandable additions such as elderflower and peach, to more daring flavours such as clotted cream, pine blossom, hot cross bun, shiraz, tea, chocolate orange, Christmas pudding, seaweed….You get the idea.

So it was only a matter of time before distillers turned their ingenuity to changing the colour of the spirit. And what other shade sums up our zeitgeist quite as succinctly as Millennial Pink? When it comes to gin, the pink tint is often achieved using ingredients such as rhubarb, pomegranate, pink grapefruit, hibiscus and berries, which also alters the flavour profiles of the drink and makes it more appealing to the sweet-toothed.

The big question is, when does gin stop being gin? When the additional flavours obscure the traditional botanicals and this sophisticated drink becomes sweetened for mass market appeal, can we still call it gin? Join the conversation by tweeting us @PretAirporter or using the hashtag #pretairporter on Instagram.

For more (g)insights, check out The Loop at Dublin Airport’s inaugural Spirit of Gin Festival which is running until 1 October

Zoë Pincombe
written by: Zoë Pincombe
Just out of university, Zoë comes from South West England. Enthusiastic about all things food and wine related, she enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures.