Food & Drink

Craft Cocktails Are The Latest Item to Join the Barbiecore Revolution

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we chat with Sugarvale's beverage director about how the pink drinks are bringing new life, and levity, to the scene.
—Photography by Scott Suchman

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, craft cocktails are the latest item to join the “Barbiecore” revolution, which turned everything, from clothing to home goods, some shade of pink.

“Blue cocktails were all the craze in the early aughts,” says Collin Schnitker, beverage director at Sugarvale, the hipster cocktail bar in Mt. Vernon. “Now, it’s time for pink. Thanks to the Barbie movie, there’s a proud femininity and girl power fun to pink cocktails—and men are ordering them, too.”

Whether it’s an Alien Love Call (lychee-infused pisco, rose and cardamom syrup, sake-style saison, lemon), The Durrell’s (scotch, vermouth, pomegranate, allspice grenadine, bitters, lime), or a Pink Rabbit (mezcal, liqueur de violet, crème de cacao, unfiltered sake, lemon), Schnitker’s pink drinks (pictured above) taste as good as they look.

For his concoctions, Schnitker experiments with a plethora of pinks, from pale pink to more magenta tones to Barbie hot pink (number 219 on the Pantone color chart). And he achieves the trendy hue by using ingredients such as red bitter Campari, pink gin, or syrup made from rose petals, which add not only flavor but fragrance.

“The goal with a pink drink is the same idea as having fun glassware or a pretty garnish,” says Schnitker. “I’m trying to get a reaction and some excitement rolling. When people whip out their phones to take photos, that’s how you know you’re doing something right.”

But there’s more to the trend than just a bump from Barbie, says Schnitker.

“In these years since the pandemic, there’s a return to fun and a certain carefree energy out there. Pink drinks are part of the fun. Spirits are dark, so any kind of color adds depth and brings some life to your glass.”

We’ll pink to that.