In the States, today is National Rosé Day. But if the wine is feeling a little cliché or just a little weak, fear not. In these modern times, rosé is also available as a spirit. You can now slake your thirst with rosé gins, vodkas, and tequila.
Mind you, these self-declared rosé liquors are not really linked to some sort of shared ‘methode rosé’. Some strive to replicate the wine’s taste. Others are just pink hued and kind of floral. However, if there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s “don’t let facts get in the way of a good time.”
Vodka is an fit for rosé-fication. The neutral spirit is now sold with just about any fusion or flavoring that one can imagine. So, vodka drinkers can work off a flavorless base and try to create a taste similar to the wine. In addition, there is a strong overlap between rosé wine and vodka driners. Needless to say. several large brands are marketing rosé vodka expressions.
Hangar 1 Rosé — The Hangar 1 team kicked off the hard rosé trend with this all California production. The final product is a blend of vodka from the Golden State distillery and wine from a neighboring vineyard. The result is fairly solid, albeit definitely a vodka-dominant taste. MSRP, $35.95, 750ml
Svedka Rosé — The Swedish vodka maker is not stranger to flavor game with over a dozen on the market—Dragonfruit Melon Vodka, anyone? Their expression is regular Svedka mixed wit 5% rosé wine. MSRP, $12.99, 750ml
Three Olives — This English distiller opted to use ‘natural flavors’ instead of wine to impart that signature pinkness and floral flavor. In fairness the lab techs did a good job; this nice actually tastes like rosé wine—just much more alcoholic. MSRP $17.99, 750ml.
There are a few rosé tequilas kicking around the market, but Codigo 1530 Rosa is the only mass-distributed product worth mentioning. The color and a surprisingly tasty flavor is the product of aging blanco tequila for one month in uncharred Napa Valley Cabernet French White Oak wine barrels. The agave distillate soaks into the wine seasoned wood creating a result far superior to additives.
Pink Gin is all the rage across the pond these days. Created during the late 19th century, the term originally referenced a drink comprised of Plymouth Gin and bitter with some citrus expressed across the top. Today, the term is used to describe a sub category of bottled gin (more akin to a sloe gin). These spirits typically entail a sweeter gin infused with berries such as strawberries, raspberries or red currents.
The berries make the gin—well, pink. As astute reader can deduce how these expressions soon became known as rosé gin as well.
There are hundreds of pink gins on the market. Unfortunately, most of them are only distributed in Europe. Here are a few favorites available worldwide.
Beefeater Pink Gin — Beefeater is known for heir reliable London Dry. Nothing fancy, but always gets the job done. Their Pink offering is the polar opposite. Here is a flashy, strawberry bomb tailor made for Instagram. MSRP $18.95, 750ml.
The Bitter Truth Pink — Yes, this gin is made by the same German company behind the bitters. Not surprisingly, their expression is a mix of gin and bitters similar to the original Pink Gin cocktail. And, it’s delicious; high recommend. MSRP $36.95, 750ml
Hendricks Midsummer Solstice — Midsummer Solstice is likely going to be the easiest pink gin to find. Hendricks is pioneer in the unorthodox botanicals forward (cucumbers in their case) “new gin” category and this Shakespearean spirit is no different. Lots of florals, strong on the rose tastes, kind of like an English garden in a bottle, perfect for a hot summer afternoon. MSRP $44.50, 750ml