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Pink Gin: Strong Enough for a Spy, Pretty Enough for a Lady

Pink Gin: Marrow 75

Marrow 75 Courtesy of The Marrow

Pink Gin—a term for gin mixed with Angostura bitters—was incredibly popular in England starting in the 19th century when the British navy used the concoction to combat seasickness. It was so ubiquitous that James Bond drinks one in Sir Ian Fleming's, The Man with the Golden Gun. His order: Beefeater with "plenty of bitters." The combination is now catching on in the U.S., where American bartenders are using bottled pink gin in Valentine's Day-perfect cocktails.

At NYC chef Harold Dieterle's new Italo-German restaurant, The Marrow, bar manager Jill Roberts puts a dry pink gin made by German company The Bitter Truth in the restaurant's signature drink. The Marrow 75 is an herbaceous take on a French 75 with pink gin, fresh lemon juice, sage simple syrup and a float of Loire Valley sparkling white wine.

"Pink Gin adds not only juniper but also caraway and fennel and licorice," she says. She also adores its delicate, salmon hue. "I'm an adult female and I just love pink," she admits. "The color of this gin in the bottle is so sexy." Here, more pretty but potent cocktails around the country.

BAR GUIDE

The Savoy, Chicago
Specializing in absinthe, the Savoy has over 40 different bottlings on the menu; guests can order them in the traditional way (with water and sugar) or in cocktails like the Death Stamp, the house gin martini. Bartenders stir The Bitter Truth pink gin with Imbue's bittersweet vermouth and grapefruit bitters then strain the cocktail into an absinthe-rinsed coupe.

The Ordinary, Charleston
Chef Mike Lata's recently-opened seafood spot serves a Pink Gin & Tonic. Recommended as an aperitif paired with oysters, the updated classic combines Gordon's gin with Angostura bitters and locally-produced Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic.

SoBou, New Orleans
For a New Orleans twist on pink gin, bartender Abigail Gullo makes hers with native Peychaud's bitters, which adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of anise. Day drinkers can order the super simple cocktail during weekday lunch for just 25 cents.

The Shanty, Brooklyn
The Williamsburg bar and distillery dispenses pink gin from an antique still on the back bar. For an ultra-local beer and a shot, bartenders serve the house blend—made with their own dry Dorothy Parker gin, Angostura bitters and a splash of Campari—with a can of Brooklyn Lager.

Related: Fantastic Valentine's Day Recipes
Amazing Gin Cocktails
Festive Red Cocktails

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