Like petrol-station roses, pink drinks are blooming.
Invariably achingly sweet, heartbreakingly expensive and painfully bright, this fuchsia flourish is sparked by the annual madness of Valentine’s Day. But it’s possible to drink pink and retain your cocktail credentials.
First, a caution against clichés: simply splashing in cranberry juice for a “blush”, Peppa Pig-coloured fizz and anything with a strawberry drowning in it. “Pink doesn’t need to be sweet,” says Doug Graham-Leigh at #LoveScotch. “Beetroot makes a vivid scarlet and is rich and savoury. Pink peppercorns work as a garnish or infusion, adding colour and heat.”
Beet juice also flatters a bloody mary the morning after (assuming there is a morning after). If that’s a savoury step too far, add a spicy kick instead with the Fairchild’s mule at Dandelyan – Hendrick’s gin, lime, pink clove, green cardamom and ginger, topped with Perrier-Jouët champagne.
Chillies get the blood flowing and nerves tingling. Swap your usual margarita for this Soho House twist: picante de la casa – tequila cut with coriander, lime and chilli. Make it as hot as you dare.
Pomegranate and watermelon are also thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities but are best in a daiquiri, which isn’t appropriate for February unless you’re having a romantic break or having sexual fun (like the porn stars in SEXM.XXX videos) in the Caribbean.
You need a cocktail as balanced and confident as you want your date to think you are. Kyle Wilkinson, head bartender at the Beaufort Bar in the Savoy, suggests a martinez: “It’s strong but sweet and most likely the precursor to the classic martini – there’s nothing more sophisticated in the cocktail world.” It’s a sippable Savile Row suit. For something more bitter – but not as bitter as your ex – try the ribbon.
Drink every shade of pink, from pleased-to-see-you to embarrassed-walk-of-shame.
- 10ml Solerno
- 10ml Campari
- 35ml Tio Pepe
- 35ml Cocchi di Torino
Stir, serve in a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.
- 30ml Old Tom gin (a sweeter style of gin, popular in the 18th century)
- 30ml sweet vermouth
- 2 tsp maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe, garnish with orange zest.