The Rose-Colored G, perfected

I announce — with some astonishment — that I have perfected the Rose-Colored G.

But Dale, I hear you exclaim, what is there to perfect? It’s just a gin and tonic with a float of hibiscus-infused gin on top.

Ah, I reply smugly, but you have not considered the variability of the main ingredient: gin. Normally I use the house gin, which is Bombay Sapphire, but yesterday I decided to use Gray Whale, for no real reason other than I like that gin and have been drinking it more often recently.

The results were a revelation.

I will also say that the hibiscus-infused gin was a little different this time. In getting ready for Alchemy — we always serve the Rose-Colored G at the bar — I was loath to use my dwindling supply of Bombay Sapphire to make a fresh supply of the hibiscus gin, so I bought a small bottle of Beefeater gin and used that. When I had to make another batch upon returning to the default world, I used the rest of the Beefeater. It is now my preferred gin for the hibiscus infusion. (But otherwise I’m not a fan.)

sidebar: At the burn, the 3 Old Men craft cocktail bar served the Smoked Smoky Manhattan, the Smoking Hot Molly, the Rose-Colored G, and the Grassy Knoll. All are my inventions, and we ran out of booze on Friday night. The word had gotten out that 3 Old Men was serving actual craft cocktails and we were swarmed. A proud moment, to be sure.

Whenever I see recipes that call for a specific brand of gin or rye or rum, I usually roll my eyes and just make it with whatever I have in stock, so it’s very weird for me to be doing the same thing here, but I get it: The salinity of the Gray Whale and the cleanness of the Beefeater were amazing together.

The Rose-Colored G

  • 1.5 oz Gray Whale gin
  • tonic water
  • hibiscus-infused gin
  • Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters (or other allspice bitters)
  • optional lime slice

To make the hibiscus-infused gin, pour Beefeater gin into a glass container and add two or three tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers. Let it sit for about an hour, swirling it every now and then. You want a bright ruby color. (The infusion in the photo is a little too dark.) Strain and bottle.

To make the drink, make a regular gin and tonic, then gently pour the hibiscus infusion onto the ice so that it spreads out and floats. Dribble 5–7 drops of the bitters onto the ice.


(Note well that if you don’t have Gray Whale, the drink is still delicious with your preferred gin!)

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