Originally published in Saveur.com.
This Valentine’s Day, a rose by any name tastes just as sweet.
Whether it’s due to the current adoration of all things rosy (the phrase “millennial pink” returns over 31 million results in Google) or an extension of the now year-long appreciation of rosé wine, spirits producers of all stripes are indulging in a pink moment.
For consumers, this means a bouquet of products to choose from, such as rosé wine packaged in floral glass bottles to a pink gin that heralds back to the early days of the storied spirit.
“Pink is appealing,” Federico Vaughan, CEO of Código 1530 Tequila, says. “It has a youthful, vibrant energy.”
“Pink is very easy on the eye,” Geoff Curley, founder of Gin Lane 1751, echoes. “In beverage, specifically wine and spirits, pink-colored beverages definitely evoke warmth, summer, and fun thoughts.”
A soft coral hue doesn’t necessarily mean that spirits will taste cloyingly sweet, or even that blush-tinted liquids are only for the feminine consumer.
It’s worth noting that while pink is currently considered “girly,” this is only a recent phenomenon. From the late 1800’s to the 1940’s, little boys wore pink while their sisters donned pale blue, a color then considered the more delicate of the two hues, according to the Smithsonian. But by the 1980’s, pink was linked to not just infant girls but also to femininity in general. Consider Barbie’s striking fuschia branding or the pink breast cancer awareness ribbons popularized by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
When, in 2016, the Pantone Color Institute broke with tradition by announcing not one, but two, Colors of The Year, it set a few things in motion. Rose Quartz (a soft pale pink) and Serenity (a cool sky blue) set the tone for the current state of all things pink (and blue); Pantone notes that the rise of the twin pastels reflect “a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design.”
As the pink trend spread from fashion to consumer goods, it makes sense that salmon, blush and coral shades are showing up in spirits as well. And this time, more men may be open to rose-colored products.
“[Pink] used to be very female-positioned, but in the past couple years, it has become very androgynous,” Mr. Curley says. “More men are not afraid to associate with soft pink color shades.”
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