Husk Distillers starts out with a gin distilled from thirteen botanicals and then infuses it with the pH sensitive butterfly pea flower to make their color changing Ink Gin.
While it seems as if these gins are everywhere now— Ink Gin claims to be the “first” color changing gin to be launched, when they hit the Australian market in 2015.
Sharish Gin has a close claim, also launching in 2015. The well known Empress 1908 launched in 2017.
Color: Rich indigo, and perfectly transparent.
Aroma: Strong notes of herbal lemon, suggestive of makrut lime, lemongrass and lime leaves. I know this scent though. It’s the popular Australian botanical, lemon myrtle. Though green juniper, coriander, and hints of spice lend it a rich, complex and pleasing aroma.
Flavor: Ink Gin leads strongly with lemon myrtle throughout the palate. Makrut lime early, with slight hints of citronella and a touch of menthol/camphor mid-palate. Juniper, with some pine needle facets hovers prominently on the mid and late palate.
Astringent citrus comes on late, but still with herbal facets.
Finish: Cooling with gentle camphor, lemon myrtle and a spicy hint of coriander and pepperberry.
Ink Gin is designed specifically for the color change performance. While any acid will cause the shift, none is so pronounced or easy as making a gin and tonic with a touch of lemon or lime.
To play up Ink Gin’s herbal profile, mix up a Southside (yes, it has acid– so it will be gently pink).
Where I’m perhaps most intrigued by Ink Gin is that even outside of its trick— it’s a solid gin. The herbal/pine botanical blend lends itself well to a Negroni or an Arsenic and Old Lace. The irony would be that the Pink Lady doesn’t have enough acid to shift it away from purple. Try a Clover Club instead.
Overall, Ink Gin
Forget the color for a second. Ink Gin is a bit more than a gimmick. It’s a well-made gin that emphasizes its Australian roots. Some may find it a bit too prominent in that citrus/herbal world. Others who are fans of contemporary savory gins may find Ink Gin has more to offer than a trick color change.
Recommended among color changing gins.