Skip to Content

18 Easy Empress Gin Cocktail Recipes

These cocktails made with Empress Gin look super impressive thanks to the gin’s beautiful indigo color, but they couldn’t be easier to make! From color changing cocktails to fun riffs on classic drinks, all of these Empress Gin cocktail recipes require 6 ingredients or less and are absolutely gorgeous in a glass.

A bottle of Empress Gin on a table with a jigger and cocktail glass.

If you’re looking for an easy cocktail that will truly impress your friends, you need to get a bottle of Empress Gin!

I came across Empress Gin on a trip to Vancouver a few years back, and fell completely in love. Partially because it tastes great, but also because it can elevate a cocktail from ordinary to a show-stopper without any extra effort.

What Is Empress Gin?

Empress Gin, also known as Empress 1908 Gin, is a craft Canadian gin made by Victoria Distillers that launched in 2017. It’s micro-distilled in small batches, sits at 42.5% ABV, and is made with the following eight natural botanicals:

  1. Empress Hotel black tea blend
  2. Butterfly pea blossom
  3. Juniper
  4. Grapefruit peel
  5. Coriander seed
  6. Cinnamon bark
  7. Rose petal
  8. Ginger root

The recipe for Empress Gin was inspired by and is a collaboration with the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, where they serve a signature black tea blend at their famous afternoon tea service. Empress Gin uses this same handpicked tea blend, which is a big part of what gives the gin its delicate, unique flavor.

Taste-wise, Empress Gin is very similar to a classic London Dry gin but with some modern finesse. So although its color makes it looks like a liquid jolly rancher, it is NOT sweet. Instead, it’s super dry with notes of pine, citrus, and flowers.

Where To Buy Empress Gin

Even though it’s a small batch gin, you can find Empress Gin all over the USA and Canada. Here’s a handy tool where you can find the store closest to you that sells Empress Gin, and they also sell it online. It’s around $35-40 US dollars or $50-55 Canadian dollars for a 750ml bottle, so it’s on the pricier side, but totally worth it!

Why Is Empress Gin Purple?

Empress Gin is best known for its bright indigo color, which is derived from the butterfly pea blossom herb.

Butterfly pea blossom is an herb primarily grown in Southeast Asia and used in teas. However, it’s become increasingly popular in North America, and you’ll find it in craft drinks and foods all over. I’ve personally had it in wine and beer, and it always adds great floral flavors and a beautiful color!

Aside from its gorgeous hue, it has another even more magical quality: it can change color based on pH levels. For example, adding an acid like lemon to Empress Gin will turn it a beautiful reddish pink color.

Many assume butterfly pea flower makes drinks sweet due to its bright cotton candy color, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In Empress Gin, the butterfly pea blossom adds earthy and herbal notes, and is actually very mild in flavor overall.

What You Can Mix With Empress Gin

Ultimately, Empress Gin isn’t much different from a typical gin in terms of taste. So you can mix it with anything that you would normally mix with gin!

That said, it’s fun to enhance and/or maintain Empress Gin’s beautiful color with your mixers, and that’s something to keep in mind. For example, clear mixers and purple garnishes are always a good choice, and I would avoid darker mixers like Coke.

Some of the more popular mixers to use with Empress Gin are the following:

  1. Tonic water
  2. Sparkling wine
  3. Citrus juice
  4. Pineapple juice
  5. Ginger beer
  6. Elderflower liqueur
  7. Lavender syrup
  8. White wine

This is not an exhaustive list by any means — for more mixers and specific recipes for Empress Gin, read on!

18 Easy Empress Gin Cocktail Recipes

Which of these Empress Gin cocktail recipes caught your eye?? Trick question: they’re all absolutely stunning and eye-catching in their own right!

I personally can’t wait to make the Duchess Punch for the holidays since it’s beyond easy but will make a beautiful centerpiece!

PS: if you have an easy peasy Empress Gin cocktail I didn’t mention here and should try, let me know in the comment section below 🙂