The Newest Craze That’s Not New At All! The current obsession was invented in the 1800’s.
Angostura Bitters- the pink component date back to the 1800’s so it’s completely plausible that these healing bitters were added to the high proof (i.e. Navy Strength) gin was originally used to kill an acute belly-ache or lessen the ravages of seasickness while battling the oceans of the earth. This higher proof gin, also known as a Plymouth Gin or a Tom Cat style (like the brilliantly made Barr Hill from Vermont), would have been aged for a period of time in a barrel that may have held some kind of whiskey. This flavor of the strong grain based spirit would have deeply colored the inside of the cask and added deep sweetness from other ingredients like molasses in certain historic versions to the modern day, potent Navy-style gin.
This trend of making pink gin cocktails died out for about a hundred years due to changing tastes. The Pink Gin cocktail magically reappeared during the Roaring Twenties. The period known as the Jazz Era was a high living time during Prohibition. The rage during the 1920’s and 1930’s, involved drinking large quantities of ‘bathtub’ or cheaply made gin mixed into fruity concoctions, created or recreated as it was, to kill the foul taste of the intoxicating liquids.
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