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MANY A COCKTAIL was born on the high seas, such as the Gimlet and the Navy Grog. We can thank the British Royal Navy and their daily rations for such drinks: Rum for the sailors and gin to the brass. The practice was discontinued in 197O, but it took 3OO years to phase it out. A forgotten drink that we think deserves a nod is the Pink Gin. Don’t be fooled by the pretty little name: the beverage was certainly a product of time at sea, containing just 2 ingredient and enjoyed at room (cabin) temperature. But it sure is a way to brace up.

It’s worthy of note that Plymouth Gin specifically was the official gin of the British Royal Navy, and as such traveled to the all corners of the world. Plymouth Gin is not just a brand name, it’s also a style. It can only be made in Plymouth, England, and is a protected denomination of origin. It’s made from 7 different botanicals and is a bit softer and sweeter than its London Dry style cousins.

You have two choices when it comes to sampling this cocktail: Go for the original and add several dashes of Angostura bitters to Plymouth’s Navy Strength gin at room temperature or go modern, as our recipe suggests. Not for the gin shy, but it sure is fun to drink like a sailor!


3 ounces of Plymouth Navy Strength gin  •  6 to 7 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass  •  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.