New Ways to Drink Pink

Pink had a breakout year as fashion color in 2017, and now mixologists are picking up on it in quite tempting ways.

Photo courtesy of Citizen Cider

As a fashion color, pink had a breakout last year, and now it’s the hot new hue behind the bar. I’m not talking rosé wines (perfect for summer, as always), but the upswing in pink-tinged ciders and even hard liquors.

Charles Rosen, CEO of Ironbound Hard Cider—made in Hunterdon County in the style of Newark’s famous colonial-era ciders—says his retail accounts have been clamoring of late for a rosé cider. As it happens, he produced his first one, Devil’s Harvest, infused with tart cherries and wild Jersey cranberries, last fall, and is bringing it back around Labor Day. By the time you read this, Ironbound’s pink summer cider, Gooseberry Ginger, made with green and red gooseberries, will be out. By Halloween, he expects to have Cape May Rosé, a cider flavored with Cape May beach plums and aronia berries, in stores.

“I was surprised to see how many rosé ciders are out there,” says Michele McDonnell, marketing director for Chicago-based Virtue Cider, which just launched its hibiscus-tinged Cidre Rosé in New Jersey. “It’s a little bit of collective consciousness, I think.”

Vermont-based Citizen Cider now sells its Brosé, made with Vermont blueberry skins, here as well. The company’s three owners, all men, named the drink to parody testosterone-fueled bro culture. Sales suggest women generally prefer cider to beer for its sweetness, but Citizen says Brosé appeals to both sexes. McDonnell says Virtue’s Cidre Rosé likewise has dual appeal, its floral-patterned can notwithstanding.

Pink gins from Gordon’s and Beefeater, made with fruit flavors, have earned a spot on store shelves. American-made Sweet Revenge Liqueur takes a novel approach, combining American whiskey with strawberry and citrus flavors for a 77-proof pink elixir or mixer.

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