Pink Whitney By New Amsterdam: The Ultimate Bottle Guide

A staple spirit for drinkers all over the world, vodka is a wonderfully versatile liquor. As such, there are countless brands making and selling vodka today, but amongst the most popular vodka brands is New Amsterdam, founded by wine and spirit business moguls E. & J. Gallo. Having spent decades carving out an impressive space for themselves within the wine and spirit industry, E. & J. Gallo released New Amsterdam vodka in 2011. Its sales have since exploded, as per SevenFiftyDaily.

New Amsterdam carries a dozen vodka flavors, but its star player is the Pink Whitney. An idyllic, conveniently bottled blend of liquor and chaser, Pink Whitney is a combination of New Amsterdam's five-times-distilled, notoriously smooth vodka and pink lemonade. Pink Whitney contains 30% ABV (60 proof), making it less strong than New Amsterdam's original vodka but a satisfactory strength for celebrations or game-day sipping, which is often how the iconic spirit is enjoyed by its huge fan base.

Pink Whitney was invented by a hockey player

Upon first glance at a Pink Whitney bottle, even those who aren't familiar with New Amsterdam's sleek packaging may notice that this is no ordinary vodka. Adorned with an eye-catching, edgy black and pink label studded with the notorious Barstool Sports font and logo, the Pink Whitney bottle is emblazoned nonchalantly with phrases like "Not a big deal" and "What a legend," plus a sports jersey and a couple of helmeted heads.

The sports phrases and decor are a nod to retired hockey player Ryan Whitley, one of the inventors of Pink Whitney and host of Barstool Sports' podcast, Spittin' Chiclets — whose logo is also displayed on the bottle's label. As The Hustle reports, Pink Whitney was born sort of on a whim, as Whitney and his podcast co-host, Paul Bissonnette, thought of the idea while reciting an advertisement for New Amsterdam vodka. When Whitney proclaimed he paired his vodka with pink lemonade, fans began to combine pink lemonade with their own vodka drinks, and less than a year later, Pink Whitney bottles began lining liquor store shelves.

Pink Whitney went viral online

Pink Whitney's sales have been explosive from the start. When Ryan Whitley initially promoted the mixture of pink lemonade and New Amsterdam vodka on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast, he recalls being struck by the "immediate response" from fans, as reported on Beverage Industry. Beverage Industry quotes Barstool Sports' chief revenue officer claiming that once Pink Whitney was officially launched, its early success soared "beyond everyone's expectations," referring to the expectations of both Barstool Sports and New Amsterdam.

Likewise, in 2019, Forbes dubbed Pink Whitney an "out-of-the-box sensation" just months after its official release — a suitable commendation considering over a million bottles were sold within its first six weeks on shelves. According to Forbes, a marketing rep from E. & J. Gallo Winery (New Amsterdam's parent company) credits the company's partnerships and sponsorships with Barstool Sports and the National Hockey League as reasons for the beverage's success. After all, there's no one more loyal than a sports fan!

How is Pink Whitney made?

Primarily a vodka-based spirit, Pink Whitney is made just like the rest of New Amsterdam's celebrated vodkas are. As per New Amsterdam, the vodka is distilled five times, and this distillation process serves to help purify and evaporate water from the liquor.

Not only is Pink Whitney vodka distilled five times, but it's also infused with the distinctive tart, sweet flavors of pink lemonade. New Amsterdam claims that its vodka, made from quality grains, is also triple-filtered, which could be what gives its liquor a smoother taste than other vodkas on the marketplace. As for the "grain" aspect, vodkas can be made from a variety of grains, including potato, corn, or wheat. Moreover, Pink Whitney's fruity lemonade taste comes from the addition of sweet cane sugar (via Open World Facts), and LoveToKnow notes that each 1.5-ounce shot of the spirit contains 6.6 grams of sugar.

What does Pink Whitney taste like?

Despite its unmissable vibrant pink hue and boldly-decorated label, Pink Whitney is a decidedly no-frills kind of vodka. A sip of chilled Pink Whitney tastes unmistakably like a sweet and semi-tangy flavored vodka, and it's still got that patented strong alcohol taste. In other words, it's not like sipping on a vodka-lemonade cocktail, but it is very much a lemonade-flavored vodka.

Tossed back — chilled, of course — as a shot, you'll still feel a buzzy burn as the spirit goes down, but the aftertaste of Pink Whitney is fairly pleasant and manageable. Unlike plain vodkas, shots of Pink Whitney aren't immediately met with the unpleasant urgency of finding a better-tasting chaser to wash away the liquor's flavor. Over ice, Pink Whitney works as an easy-to-sip cocktail, but we'd suggest adding a dash of seltzer or a mild mixer like Sprite or lemonade to give it less of a strong, alcohol-tasting edge. 

Is Pink Whitney a flawless combination of the best-tasting vodka and pink lemonade? No, but it is adequately smooth, sweet, and slightly tart. If you're not a fan of artificial flavors, you may want to mask its taste and mix it into a cocktail, but if you're looking for some affordable party-friendly vodka, get your shot glasses lined up for Pink Whitney — it's a proven crowd-pleaser.

How to drink Pink Whitney

Since Pink Whitney is a combination of vodka and pink lemonade, it's almost like a pre-mixed drink on its own. When poured over ice, it'll undoubtedly taste more flavorful and sweet than plain vodka, but you'll still taste that bitter-ish alcohol burn. New Amsterdam suggests adding ice and club soda to a glass of Pink Whitney or simply serving it chilled as a sweet-but-zingy shot — no chaser needed.

If you're looking to mix up a fun cocktail, Pink Whitney is a versatile choice. Since it's technically a flavored vodka, you can add it to mixers that you'd normally drink with vodka, like cranberry juice, Red Bull, or Coke. Just remember that it'll taste a bit sweeter and more tart than regular vodka. Liquor Laboratory suggests taking advantage of Pink Whitney's lemonade flavor and mixing it with other lemon-lime-type beverages, such as tangy sweet-and-sour mix, Sprite, lemonade, or pineapple juice. Those who enjoy the refreshing pucker of a sweet-sour cocktail will find Pink Whitney makes for the perfect base.

Pink Whitney vs Smirnoff Pink Lemonade vodka

Though Pink Whitney is New Amsterdam's only lemonade-flavored vodka, there are other vodkas on the market made to capture the refreshing tartness of that classic beverage. With a notorious electric pink and yellow bottle, Smirnoff's Pink Lemonade Vodka is often compared to Pink Whitney thanks to its bright branding, millennial-friendly marketing, and pink lemonade flavor.

To start, we'll note that while the average bottle of Pink Whitney costs $14, the same-sized bottle of Smirnoff Pink Lemonade Vodka rings in at about $11, though they both contain 30% alcohol by volume (via Wine-Searcher).

TikTok user @SashieAshh compares the two vodkas, noting that while they both share the same vibrant pink hue, Smirnoff's version of pink lemonade vodka is "sweeter," while Pink Whitney's lemonade flavor is more "subtle." In the end, they prefer the taste of Pink Whitney over Smirnoff Pink Lemonade, while numerous users comment on the video that Pink Whitney doesn't taste very good in general. The decision may be split here, but we suggest that Pink Whitney functions better as a tart, tangy mixer while Smirnoff Pink Lemonade might suffice as more tolerably sippable on its own.

Pink Whitney is affordable, but weaker than regular vodka

Part of the reason Pink Whitney is so popular could be due to its relatively affordable price point. For reference, New Amsterdam's original vodka sells for around $11 per 750-milliliter bottle on average, making it fairly inexpensive in comparison to other commonplace vodkas like Tito's or Grey Goose, as per Wine-Searcher

Pink Whitney is popular amongst millennials and is often consumed by college-aged drinkers. At an average of $14 per bottle, it's an affordable spirit to drink, although it does contain slightly less alcohol than other vodkas. An $11 bottle of New Amsterdam's original vodka contains 40% ABV, while Pink Whitney contains 30% ABV, as stated on the company website. According to Sound Brewery, this means that while it takes the average person around four or five shots of vodka to feel drunk, it may take up to six shots of Pink Whitney for a buzz to kick in — this number varies, of course, from person to person. Still, you might want to consider this when weighing vodka prices.

Pink Whitney is an official sponsor of USA Hockey

Pink Whitney was an instant hit with fans when it was launched, but its popularity hasn't wavered since then. In November of 2021, two years after the drink's release, USA Hockey partnered with Pink Whitney, crowning it the presenting sponsor of their annual Warrior Classic and an official sponsor of USA Hockey itself (via USA Hockey).

USA Hockey reports that as presenting sponsor of the USA Hockey Warrior Classic, Pink Whitney is the face of the organization's tribute to disabled ice hockey players who are also United States military veterans. Pink Whitney's association with hockey stems from one of its founders, retired professional hockey player Ryan Whitley. But this connection also extends beyond its partnership with USA Hockey, including the National Hockey League and Barstool Sports. In 2021, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL announced Pink Whitney as its official vodka partner.

Since Pink Whitney's launch in 2019, New Amsterdam's sales have skyrocketed

Though Pink Whitney experienced a surprisingly explosive initial success in 2019, its sales have continued to rise steadily over the years, which means that New Amsterdam has enjoyed a pretty nice revenue boost. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's 2020-2021 fiscal year report shows that both the 50 milliliter and 750 milliliter bottles of Pink Whitney were amongst the entire state's top 20 spirits sold, totaling over $6 million in sales for the year (via Penn Live).

Moreover, Market Watch grouped New Amsterdam with some of the vodka brands whose sales grew impressively in 2020, citing that it earned the number three spot among the top 20 vodka brands in the United States. New Amsterdam, Market Watch reports, sold 6.1 million cases in 2020, and Pink Whitney sales accounted for about 13% of that number. The growth doesn't stop there — in 2021; Fox Business proclaimed Pink Whitney the best-selling flavored vodka in all of North America. Cheers to that!