In this exciting episode we sampled a favorite of 19th century British sailors: Pink Gin. A few episodes ago, Harrison shouted across the bar that I had to try pink gin. I don’t know about you, but I always respond to Harrison’s shouted suggestions; their bound to be pretty interesting in the very least. The vintage cocktail reference Bobby has called pink gin “sugar-coated, barbed wire.” Another call to try it immediately.
Now the thing about pink gin is that it is derived as a remedy for the sailors. By 1824 bitters were considered a stomach tonic that warded against seasickness; I would consider gin to be an excellent medicine to sustain long voyages. To some extent I could imagine this being part of the regular ration on-board a ship, but in that regard a little less cocktail-like and more like something administered in dosages. By the 1870s, however, sailors brought pink gin to the bars as a refreshing beverage.
The recipe is essentially gin with several dashes of Angostura bitters to taste. Simple. We tried the basic version and Lisa, Catherine and I all said at first taste that it was a real eye-opener. The bitter-spice taste grabs your tongue and yanks. After several sips, however, you get used to it and it mellows out a bit.
But Bobby couldn’t let it rest there. He used Peychaud bitters to make the drink pinker and added some raspberries to bring out a little more sweetness. We all agreed that his revision was much less like getting hit by board with a nail in it. It was lighter, fruitier and more refreshing.
Amongst all the pinkness, the conversation shifted to Lisa’s officiating of weddings. Apparently she’s an online ordained minister and has been marrying couples over the summer. Not something you come across every day. I got to thinking. The Black Liver Project could totally be in the wedding ceremony business. We’ve got everything a good wedding needs: a minister and a fantastic bartender. Maybe we’ll be seeing you at the altar.