The best pink gin taste tested 2023
Flavoured with fruit such as rhubarb and raspberry, pink gin is an on-trend spirit – see the results of our taste test, plus find pink gin cocktail inspiration.
It used to be that when you ordered a pink gin, you'd get a dry gin with a splash of Angostura bitters. This was traditionally a bracing naval drink.
Now, pink gin is a fruity, often sweet, aromatic drink that’s meant to be enjoyed with plenty of tonic – more Aperol spritz in nature than neat spirit. Purists may resent the change of definition, but, when done well, today's pink gin is a great addition to the range of gins available.
From pale blush pink gins that use rose petals within their selected aromatics, to deeply rosy gins infused with juicy berries, or pale and tart pink grapefruit or rhubarb creations, pink gins can vary widely. You can even think of pink gins as you would think of rosé: varying in depth of colour and sweetness levels, there’s a different style to suit everyone.
Read on to discover which pink gins to buy, plus find pink gin cocktail ideas. For a memorable gin gift or if you want to try something new, check out our picks of the top 5 most unusual gins we've tried, including apple crumble and seaweed gins.
For more, visit our reviews section to find more than 200 practical buyers' guides, including taste tests of gin, vodka, rum and brandy, plus round-ups of the best rhubarb, pink and citrus gins. For more pink fun, check out our best pink kitchen appliances and accessories to brighten up your home.
Best pink gins at a glance
- Best pink grapefruit gin: Chase pink grapefruit and pomelo gin, £30.50
- Best raspberry pink gin: Pinkster gin, £19.99
- Best old-fashioned pink gin: That Boutique-y Gin Company proper pink gin, £30.95
- Best pink gin liqueur: Jawbox rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur, £25
- Best Italian pink gin: Malfy gin con rosa, £29.95
- Best sweet pink gin: Whitley Neill rhubarb and ginger gin, £26
- Best exotic pink gin: Bloom jasmine and rose gin, £24.89
- Best small-batch gin: Henley Gin Rhubarb and Orange, £40
- Best floral pink gin: Cotswolds No 1 Wildflower Gin, £37
- Best pink gin for gifting: Mermaid Pink Gin, £39.99
- Best strawberry pink gin: Warner's strawberry & rose gin, £41.85
- Best affordable pink gin: Whitley Neill pink grapefruit gin, £27.20
What is pink gin?
The term pink gin originally referred to a cocktail of gin and Angostura bitters, created by the British Navy – the Angostura bitters gave the pink hue. Angostura bitters was used as a treatment for sea sickness in the early 1800s, and the addition of gin made it more enjoyable to drink.
Today, the term pink gin is more commonly used to refer normal gin that has been flavoured with fruits or aromatics to lend it a pink hue and usually extra sweetness, without adding sugar or lowering the alcohol percentage.
Common flavours providing the pink hue can be berries (commonly strawberries and raspberries), rose petals or rhubarb. Pink gins can vary from subtle, pale rose-tinted tipples to bold and juicy berry gins.
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Best pink gins to buy 2023
Chase pink grapefruit and pomelo gin
Best pink grapefruit gin
The estimable Chase, a distillery making a name for itself with both classic gins and a wide range of flavoured variations, turns its eyes towards pink gin with this punchy number.
A soft pink hue belies the massive grapefruit zest nose, which softens with fruit jellies and a touch of lime. A quick neat sip shows the spirit to be smooth and creamy and the citrus aromas to be very punchy – but this isn’t a sweet gin, per se.
Suitably expanded with tonic, ice and a pink grapefruit wedge garnish, this is summer in a glass. Chase’s ability to extract indecent amounts of fresh, zesty grapefruit and pomelo peel and put them in your glass is nothing short of impressive.
Best raspberry pink gin
A second career for businessman Stephen Marsh, after he found that wine and beer no longer agreed with him, Pinkster is all about the raspberries. The core spirit is produced by G&J Distillers, and Pinkster then macerates it with three more botanicals, including those raspberries.
It comes across as a more recognisably dry gin on the nose, but the juniper notes counterpoint a dominant raspberry aroma. Neat, it’s closer to a dry gin with a surprisingly light raspberry edge. A twinge of vanilla and black pepper round it out.
Once mixed with tonic, that delicate raspberry element melds well and avoids the sickliness of which pink gins are often accused. Pop it into a balloon glass with loads of ice, a few fresh mint or basil leaves and some raspberries, then top with tonic.
That Boutique-y Gin Company proper pink gin
Best old-fashioned pink gin
- Available from Amazon (£29.95)
This is a gin that uses Angostura bitters – and proudly refers to itself as “proper”. In order to keep things interesting (and, one suspects, to keep it from being seen as a mere pre-mix), That Boutique-y Gin Company vacuum distills the Angostura, then blends back in gentian tincture and lemon distillate. The gin is then finished off with a splash of colour (as the initial vacuum distillation removes the Angostora's vibrant hue).
The nose is all orange and lemon, with sweet ginger, then a follow-through of juniper that’s almost oily. A neat sip hits you with a little herbal note at the beginning, followed by the interplay of the gin and Angostura aromatics with cardamom, black pepper, gentian bitterness and juniper’s clean punch, with a liquorice sweet note at the end.
Dosed with tonic, the complexities have more room to shine, and the lemon notes, in particular, come through without sacrificing the spicy finish.
Jawbox rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur
Best pink gin liqueur
Set in a 300-acre estate outside of Belfast, Jawbox is one of the brand offerings from the Echlinville Distillery, which, since its launch in 2013 has also brought out award-winning Irish whiskies, gins and poitín. This is a liqueur variant on the standard Jawbox Dry, and is the sweetest of the pink gins in this review.
While only 20% ABV, it has a huge nose with rhubarb leading in a big tangy rush and ginger following far more subtly after the boiled sweet-style richness. As you'd expect from a liqueur, it's entirely suited to drinking neat, and again leads with the rhubarb giving a mouthwatering sharpness before the sweetness comes in on a rich, mouth-coating body.
The ginger is quite restrained, adding warmth to a long finish. It works well with tonic, although a drier one is recommended to stop that sweetness becoming overwhelming. If drinking long, a small splash of soda gives the rhubarb and ginger space to shine.
Malfy gin con rosa
Best Italian pink gin
Malfy is produced outside of Turin at the Torino Distillati, which dates back to the early 1900s, and is distilled by the Vergnano family. The Rosa is the fourth offering from the brand, joining the original, lemon and orange varieties.
The nose is a huge waft of grapefruit zest, but the Malfy distinguishes itself with a light rhubarb edge that complements the mouthwatering citrus. A neat sip shows those two again, with juniper at the end.
A splash of tonic seems to increase the aromatic quality of the gin, bringing up more of the grapefruit and rhubarb, which fade out gracefully, letting the juniper come back in lightly. A delightful mixture of the balanced and the exuberant, it's perfect for long, summer evenings.
Whitley Neill rhubarb and ginger gin
Best sweet gin
This is, it seems to me, what people are really talking about when they discuss 'pink gin' – despite it being the only one of the bunch to lack the hue. Whitley Neill is one arm of Halewood International and counts J.J Whitley, City of London Distillery, Hawkshead Brewery and Crabbie's among its stablemates.
The nose is sweet rhubarb with an orange accent and a trickle of ginger and, under that, a subtle remnant of coriander and juniper. Taken neat, it drinks lightly for its strength, with a little spirit burn behind the botanicals moderated by the sweetness. The rhubarb is still at the fore, reminiscent of rhubarb and custard sweets, with the ginger again subtle.
Mixed with tonic, it makes a whole lot more sense, with the quinine balancing out that sweetshop air. You’d never mistake this for a dry gin, but then, that’s not what it's for.
Bloom jasmine & rose gin
Best exotic pink gin
- Available from Amazon (£20.37)
Produced by Joanne Moore, master distiller of G&J Distillers, Bloom gins are a lighter, more floral take on the spirit. This variant leads with jasmine and rose and doesn't hold back.
The jasmine and rose balance well on the nose, with the former never tipping into Turkish delight sweetness and the latter adding complexity and earthing the rose.
While it’s informative drunk neat, this isn’t the best way to enjoy it, as the botanicals are overwhelming. Once tonic is added, the elements cohere quite pleasingly. While there's more intensity than you might expect, the rose and jasmine give you just the floral lift you’d hope for. This is one that could do a lot in cocktails as well.
Henley Gin – Rhubarb and Orange
Best small-batch gin
- Available from The Henley Distillery (£40)
Star rating: 5/5
When Henley Gin puts ‘small batch’ on its label, it really means it. Henley Gins are distilled in handmade 300l copper stills, heated over open flames in a Henley barn, with every batch individually created and controlled. The rhubarb and orange variety has a delicate pale pink hue and is infused with fresh hand-peeled orange zest (again explaining the ‘small batch’ focus) and tangy English rhubarb for a subtle, grown-up pink gin.
It’s not just us who recommend it either: this was awarded the Masters medal in the pink gin category at the Gin Masters Awards 2021 – the highest award possible. This versatile gin works well across a variety of serves: drink tall with ice, tonic and a twist of orange peel, or with ginger ale for a classic rhubarb-ginger combination, or even lemonade if you want to boost the sweetness. For gifting, there’s also the option to purchase a personalised bottle.
Cotswolds No 1 Wildflower Gin
Best floral pink gin
Star rating: 4/5
Despite it’s deep red-pink hue, this gin is infused with floral botanicals rather than the berries you might expect. It is inspired, as the name might suggest, by Cotswolds wildflowers and grassland. The London Dry gin base has essences of cornflowers, lavender, orange and rhubarb root blended into it along with a touch of sugar syrup (although it’s still a punchy 41.7% ABV), good for those who like an ever so slightly sweeter gin.
Overall this produces a fruity, floral and fresh gin. The floral notes are clear on the nose, along with the orange inclusion. This pink gin would make for a super pretty spritz – think Aperol-style and add a slice of orange to finish.
Mermaid Pink Gin
Best pink gin for gifting
Star rating: 4/5
The striking bottle of Mermaid Pink Gin makes it perfect for giving as a gift to any gin lover – but its appeal goes beyond just looks. Produced at the Isle of Wight’s only distillery, Mermaid prides itself on its local sourcing of ingredients and botanicals to make this distinctly coastal gin. Plus, the packaging is all plastic-free.
The pink gin gets its colour and flavour from Isle of Wight strawberries grown in the Arreton valley. The strawberries are steeped in smooth gin for four days before being redistilled, resulting in a pink gin that remains strawberry-dominant from the initial nose throughout the palate and finish. Alongside the sweet strawberries, carefully chosen local botanicals include English coriander, locally foraged elderflower, rock samphire handpicked from the cliffs for a salty sea air edge, and boadicea hops, grown at Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight. These balance out the fruity notes for a complex, well-rounded gin. Garnish with sliced strawberries or try in a spritz with sparkling rosé.
Warner's strawberry & rose gin
Best strawberry pink gin
Star rating: 5/5
This is one for the sweet tooths, and one we can imagine drinking all summer long. It instantly conjures up memories of long, sunny British evenings – forget strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, we’re all about this strawberry and rose gin.
Some pink gins are subtly pink, or delicately flavoured. Not so this bottle. Warner Edwards proudly state that a quarter of each bottle is made of fresh strawberry juice and rose petals, which explain the deep rosy hue, too. It’s jammy and sweet on the palate with strong fragrant aromas from both the punchy berries and rose blossom notes, but we didn’t find it sickly sweet – perhaps due to the inclusion of cardamom and cinnamon as botanicals, adding gentle spice to the finish. The flavours are strong enough to make this worth sipping neat with plenty of ice, but for a refreshing summer drink serve with Mediterranean tonic (to draw out the floral notes), sliced strawberries and a spring of mint.
Whitley Neill pink grapefruit gin
Best affordable pink gin
Star rating: 4/5
Whitley Neill gins are easy to spot on any supermarket shelf, with striking coloured bottles at affordable prices. For a straightforward pink gin to keep handy in the cupboard ready for a pink G&T, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Whitley Neill pink grapefruit gin.
Infused with Iberian pink grapefruit, the citrus burst is given a triple boost from the inclusion of sweet orange, lemon peel and lime within the aromatics. The sweet start gives way to refreshing tartness, just what we like in a pink gin. Add a thin slice of grapefruit to your G&T with this pink gin to dial up the grapefruit bitterness, or try using in cocktails to balance out sweetness.
How we tested pink gin
We tested more than 15 different bottles to find our selection of the best pink gins. We tested gins neat and then mixed with tonic water. When bottles claimed a specific flavour profile, we judged them on this clearly coming through in the aroma and throughout drinking. We wanted pink gins to be well-balanced, without excessive sweetness or flavours that overwhelmed the style of the gin itself.
What is the best mixer for pink gin?
The best mixer for pink gin will depend both on your personal preference and the dominant flavour profiles in your chosen pink gin – how sweet the gin itself is, and whether you want to enhance this or balance it out. A classic G&T will always work well with a pink gin and you can try different tonic waters to find your perfect match – elderflower tonic performs particularly well. Dial down sweetness with simple tonic water, or increase it by mixing pink gin with lemonade (we love the raspberry gins with lemonade for a summery raspberry lemonade-inspired cocktail). Rhubarb gins work well with ginger ale for a classic flavour combination, while gin liqueurs can be enjoyed neat with ice.
Best gin glasses
Once you’ve got the perfect bottle, find the best gin glasses to sip your G&T from, whether that’s a roomy goblet or chic tumbler.
Wilko gin glasses
For a classic gin goblet, you can’t beat this Wilko set. With 6 glasses for a wallet-friendly £8, you’ll have enough to host a party and won’t need to panic if any break. The generous sized glasses leave room for plenty of mixer and garnish, with a comfortable thick handle to hold. Plus they’re dishwasher-safe, too.
Lakeland crystal-look acrylic tumblers
If you’re planning a picnic or want drinks in the garden, these acrylic tumblers are a lightweight, shatterproof alternative to glass. They look like expensive crystal glassware with a roomy 350ml capacity – much more chic than plastic cups or gin from a tin.
Root 7 geo tumblers
For short gin cocktails or sipping gin neat, a short tumbler is just what you need. This modern, geometric style has stylish metallic edging and is available in plain, gold or black designs. They’d stand out on a bar cart and also make a great gift for a gin lover.
Pink gin recipes
You can use pink gin anywhere you’d use classic gin, to add a touch of flavour and colour. Try a twist on a classic with our pink negroni recipe, or for a unique summer cocktail mix up a jug of pink gin iced tea. We’ve also got pink gin recipes to infuse your own gin itself: try homemade strawberry, raspberry or rhubarb gin.
Pink gin cocktails
Put your bottle to good use by making one of our favourite pink gin cocktails.
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This review was last updated in November 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think of the pink gin trend? Is it a crude reworking of the traditional spirit, or a delicious new way to drink gin? Leave a comment below...ink