5 Ways To Add a Little Pink To Your Holiday Libations

Dick Snyder | November 29th, 2017

The latest rage for rosé doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. Add some pink to your holiday entertaining with these five rosy pairings.

In the world of drinks as in fashion, trends come and go … and come back again. Every couple of years, some men’s magazine will dust off the headline “real men drink rosé” and then tell their readers why they should, too. But the latest pink rage is showing no signs of fading. This spring, every variant of pink, salmon and rose appeared in the collections of international fashion designers. These hues – often collected under the term Millennial Pink – got a kick-start when Pantone declared rose quartz as a 2016 “it” colour, a paler-than, near-neutral that’s almost ironic in being labelled pink – yet still neutral, as in gender fluidity and current wave feminism. And it’s been roses (and rosés) ever since. Truth is, everyone can use a hit of pink. So adding a dash to your table should bestow everyone with a warm glow. Pink is said to energize and stimulate action, and it can increase heart rate – which is just what everyone needs as the cool evenings of fall creep into winter.

Rosé Wine

Variations on rosé can range from deep ruby-pink to barely perceptible amber, but they all get their colour from red grapes. Dry styles from Provence conjure patios and long languid lunches. Richer and slightly sweeter styles can come from New Zealand, California and Spain. Ontario’s Malivoire winery makes the pale, dry Vivant along with the richer (but also dry) Ladybug. Rosé’s vibrant acidity and bright fruit are akin to a white wine but without the drying tannins of a red. This makes rosé a versatile match with food. Try roasted birds, tartares, roast root vegetables, fish and seafood, and soft bloomy cheeses.

Sparkling Rosé

It’s regal, pretty, expensive and fantastic: Rosé Champagne is the ultimate pink drink for setting an elevated tone. The world’s bestseller is Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé, made using red Pinot Noir grapes. The bottle alone is beautiful, and the wine is gossamer in texture and crisply fruity. It’s around $90 and worth every penny. Thankfully, less expensive options abound, especially in pink bubblies from the Cava region of Spain. In France, non-Champagne sparkling wines are called Crémant, and the label will state where they come from: Crémant de Bourgogne, Alsace or Loire. Canadian wineries excel at this style because our cooler climate provides optimal growing conditions to bring out the bright, fresh fruit from the Pinot Noir.

Rose Gin

Coloured gins are rare treats. A very pretty small-batch gin coloured and flavoured with saffron has been made in Dijon since 1874 by the same makers of Crème de Cassis. Dillon’s Distillery in Niagara makes a gin infused with rosehips and petals. It has enough complex flavours going on – rose, orange, clove, cinnamon and pepper – to sip with ice, but it shines in a gin and tonic or Negroni.

Campari or Aperol

Lower in alcohol than a classic cocktail, drinks made with the orange-flavoured and brightly hued bitter liqueurs Campari and Aperol are perfect refreshers. Adjust flavours to suit using one or more additions such as soda, sparkling wine, orange juice and ice.

Peychaud Bitters

Bartender Kaitlyn Stewart of Vancouver’s Royal Dinette who recently won the title of world’s best bartender at the Diageo World Class competition in Mexico, adds colour and fall flavours to her table with a pink-ish twist on a classic Dark and Stormy.

Dark & Stormy
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Splash simple syrup (to taste)
Dash Peychaud’s bitters
4 oz Fentimans ginger beer
1.5 oz Zacapa 23 Rum

In a Collins glass, combine lime juice, simple syrup, Peychaud’s and ginger beer. Add ice and stir. Carefully float the Zacapa 23 rum on top, add a fresh lime wheel and paper straw. Serve.

A version of this article appeared in the November 2017 issue with the headline, “Tippled Pink,” p. 54.