Cocktail Corner: The Empress

Introducing the Empress

Canada’s iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel opened its doors in 1908. Since then, travelers from around the world have visited the picturesque hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, to sip its exotic and proprietary tea blend, one of the finest in the world. Victoria Distillers has tapped into this Old World charm and sophistication by handcrafting a unique gin inspired by the Empress blend. Distilled from Canadian water refined by reverse osmosis and eight organic botanicals, Empress 1908 displays phenomenal depth. To make this gin even more special, the addition of butterfly pea blossoms tints the spirit a vibrant indigo. With the addition of citrus or tonic, this deep violet fades to a soft pink. With forward juniper and grapefruit notes, this small-batch gin exudes British sensibility and tastes as beautiful as it looks. The WAC is excited to introduce this bold spirit to our cocktail program. Come to Torchy’s to try it in a gin and tonic, or enjoy a Flight of the Empress, my unique riff on the early 20th-century Aviation cocktail. Cheers!

Flight of the Empress

  • 1½ oz. Empress 1908 gin
  •  ½ oz. Crème de violette
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. champagne

Pour Empress 1908 gin, crème de violette, and grapefruit juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini or coupe glass. Top with champagne. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. Savor.

As published in the November/December 2018 issue of WAC Magazine.

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