I always enjoy a good cocktail, but for some reason, summer always strikes as the best time for cocktails — and honestly, nothing drives that feeling home more than the existence of pink, strawberry-infused gin. Not just any pink, strawberry-infused gin, either: This pink, strawberry-infused gin is also mermaid-themed gin. Created by Isle of Wight Distillery, Mermaid Pink Gin is everything I’ve ever wanted out of my summertime spirits. Does anyone have any tonic handy? Because, uh... we're going to need some up in here. Soon. Just sayin'.
Isle of Wight Distillery has actually been making Mermaid Gin for some time; indeed, the original Mermaid Gin used to come in a slightly less Instagrammable bottle than what it’s packaged in currently. Don’t get me wrong — the old bottle was still pretty rad-looking, with a beautiful label featuring a gorgeous pencil sketch of a mermaid on it. But in this, Our Year Of The Mermaid Two-Thousand Nineteen, nothing gets you noticed quite like a good bottle does — and all the better if that bottle is also environmentally friendly. So, in March of this year, a new bottle for Wight’s Mermaid Gin debuted — a stunning, blue ombre number that resembles the scaled tail of a mermaid made of 100 percent plastic-free, sustainable, recyclable materials.
The gin inside the bottle remains the same, though — but with good reason: It’s good gin! According to gin-focused website Gin Foundry, Isle of Wight Distillery owners Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett succeeded in their aim to create a light, smooth, citrusy spirit with peppery notes and a hint of the Isle of Wight”; Gin Foundry’s review of the small-batch spirit praised the use of hops as “an unusual — though far from unused — botanical,” writing:
“The bitter, citrusy hops underpin the whole flavour journey, carrying an almost bitter wheatiness with them. There is a hint of liquorice sweetness, though when sipped straight the grains of paradise drown out the rest of the pack. A splash of tonic lessens the spice’s strengths, bringing out the sweetness of the elderflower and the roots. Juniper comes through on the finish, flooding the mouth with pine and coating the tongue entirely.”
But while the blue mermaid bottle still features the distillery’s flagship mermaid-themed gin, the pink mermaid bottle that just debuted has a twist on an old favorite inside: A strawberry-infused gin that’s just as pink as the bottle in which it’s packaged. (This is a change from the classic Mermaid Gin; while the bottle for that one is blue, the gin itself is clear, as most gins tend to be.) Its name is fitting: It’s called simply Mermaid Pink Gin.
According to trade news outlet the Spirits Business, the gin’s “gentle pink hue” and “refreshing and intensely aromatic” strawberry flavor comes from the use of local strawberries grown in the Isle of Wight’s Arreton Valley. It all starts with the classic Mermaid Gin formula; then, to infuse the spirit with both the color and the flavor of the berries, the gin and berries soak together for about four days. After that time is up, about half the gin is taken out, distilled again, and added back in. The result is a perfectly pink tipple Isle of Wight Distillery recommends using in “a summer fruit cup with ginger ale” or as the G in a G&T, garnished with fresh mint, a slice of lime, or just more strawberries. For the curious, Mermaid Pink Gin is 38% ABV.
Alas, though, there’s bad news, too: Both of the Mermaid Gins — classic and pink — are hard to get a hold of outside the UK. There’s a small handful of stockists both on the mainland and on the Isle of Wight itself, as well as an online shop; however, the online shop only ships to the UK, so the rest of us based elsewhere in the world will have to resign ourselves merely to being able to look at pictures of bottles of Mermaid Pink Gin.
At least there are other pink gins available for purchase in the United States, right? I mean, sure they’re not mermaid-themed pink gin — but any pink gin is better than no pink gin.