There’s a pink tide sweeping the globe. Its various shades are manifesting in full force in both fashion and design, and it’s even showing up atop the heads of everyone from Helen Mirren to Hailey Bieber.
Many prefer the shade most of all in their stemware. The Queen Mother may have originated this trend; she was known to enjoy “pink gin,” a cherry-colored cocktail of two parts Dubonnet to one part gin, served over ice with a slice of lemon. These days, the masses have taken to rosé wine. Once a strictly summertime phenomenon, it has become the de rigueur drink from Santa Fe to St. Tropez.
Those who prefer to sip something with a bit more punch have taken to flirting with the newest generation of blush-hued drinks: rosé tequila, which has been sweeping the shelves of liquor purveyors. And it might just be the hottest trend in holiday tippling.
“It has to be pink for a reason,” insists Richard Betts, the master tequila-maker and spirits-world veteran behind the luxurious Komos tequila, which is bottled in handmade porcelain decanters made by artisans in Mexico. The reason, in this case, is that the tequila ages in red-wine barrels, absorbing not just the tint but some of the residual flavors. “People love the color—it’s a visual bit of pleasure,” Betts continues. “But the second, and most important, factor: Is it delicious?”
“It has to be pink for a reason.”
In the case of Komos’s Reposado Rosa, it is. The full-bodied nectar is infused with notes of chocolate and dark fruits, which make sense given the use of red-wine barrels sourced from Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries, which are the wellspring of big, juicy Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and Syrahs.
The mastery goes into the taste-and-blending process, which Betts likens to conducting a harmonious orchestra as opposed to a solo. “It’s an opportunity to blend something that’s complex and complete,” he says. Rouge-pink in hue, the Reposado Rosa ages for 65 days in French oak barrels, where the tequila takes on the color from the wood.
Calirosa’s 18-month Añejo tequila is also aged in California red-wine barrels but emerges in a shade of deep honey. The brand, co-founded this past summer by model Behati Prinsloo and her husband, Adam Levine, includes Añejo; an extra-aged, 36-month Añejo; and the crystalline-pink Rosa Bianco (aged 30 days). It’s a crowd favorite for its blushing looks and easily masquerades as Whispering Angel, should any hard-core drinkers prefer to disguise a heavy pour in a wineglass, without judgment.
Bright with hints of cherry, it’s not bad, considering the last celebrity-backed agave spirit we bravely sipped, Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila Blanco, tasted like cotton candy and youthful insouciance (one of those regrettable things that may seem like a good idea at the time).
Speaking of good ideas, as delectable as Komos’s blushy Reposado is on its own, Betts is all in favor of a rosé margarita. “I’m definitely not against mixing it,” he says over the phone from Amsterdam, where he lives. “It’s about 4:15 p.m. here. I’ll probably have a rosé and soda in another 45 minutes,” he adds. His favorite garnish? A slice of pink grapefruit.
Laura Neilson is a New York–based writer