Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Have you ever walked through the liquor store and bought a bottle simply because of the label OR because it looked intriguing? We have MANY times :) This Empress lemonade made with Empress Gin is the perfect example: the bright color of this gin really caught our eye and ended up making a pretty unique beverage that we are super excited to share!
This Empress Lemonade is similar to a gin and tonic, however, there is an added touch of sweet and sour added in with simple syrup and fresh lemon juice that makes this have an extra unique taste! This gin is named after the iconic Empress Hotel, which overlooks the Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia.
Let's chat about the Empress Gin and why we are in love with it! First of all, the color alone is just absolutely beautiful! We couldn’t help but wonder how that color is achieved. The Empress website filled us in on the fun details: “Butterfly pea blossom gives Empress 1908 its distinct indigo hue. Discovered in another bespoke Empress tea blend, the pea blossom imbues the gin with a distinctive earthy note that balances traditional citrus notes and yields a rich pigmentation.” How fun that the color comes from a natural source!
If you’ve never heard of butterfly pea blossom, you’re not alone! Not only does it give off color, but also includes some pretty mind blowing color-changing science. We will break it down as simple as possible, for your brain….and ours :) This blossom contains a pigment called anthocyanin. When you mix anthocyanin with different pH levels, you can experiment with different color changing results. For example, lemonade is high in acid and when combined with the anthocyanin, the once indigo gin will turn into a more purple color! I mean…who knew we could learn so much while making an alcoholic beverage :)
Other than those obvious facts above, we also love it when we find a good gin with some added flavor notes. This one hit the spot with the combination of the butterfly pea blossom, Fairmont Empress tea (served at the Empress hotel), and Juniper. However 8 natural botanicals go into this gin when it’s distilled and we are in love with the floral notes of this unique gin.
So now that we all know how that beautiful color is created, lets talk about what else is in the Empress Lemonade cocktail…
FRESH LEMON JUICE
We will always use fresh citrus juice over bottled simply for the taste alone. It may feel like a hassle to have the lemons, limes, oranges, etc. on hand PLUS cut them up AND juice them…but it really is a quick way to make your cocktails more fresh and delicious.
This is used in such a variety of drinks, including our Tuesday on Jasmine recipes. The truth is, we don’t love adding extra sugar to our cocktails, but sometimes it’s need for an extra bit of sweetness. You can find simple syrup recipes all over the internet, but we make ours with less sugar in order to feel a little bit better about drinking it LOL. Typical recipe: 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Our recipe: 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup water. Just mix ingredients together in a sauce pan and warm on the stove until the sugar is combined. *TIP: try using fruits to add sweetness to your cocktails instead of added granulated sugar. Oranges and berries can sometimes do the trick!
One of our Jasmine ladies has recently been using Perrier sparkling mineral water instead of club soda. We recently read about the difference: Sparkling mineral water is made with water from a mineral spring, where as club soda is carbonated water infused with added minerals, which give it a salty or lightly sweet flavor. We always try to go with the more natural options when possible! No matter what brand you choose, you can’t go wrong with adding some refreshing bubbles to your cocktail of choice!
Check out how to make this beautiful drink below:
3 oz. Empress Gin
Fresh lemon juice (half of lemon)
2 TBSP simple syrup
Lemon slice for garnish
HOW TO MAKE
Fill a rocks glass about 3/4 full with ice
Pour in your club soda until your cup is about half way filled
Add simple syrup to glass
Add lemon juice to glass
Slowly pour the gin in the glass and watch the colors change instantly!
Garnish with lemon slice (we also added a sprig of rosemary for an extra fun element)
Give this one a little mix before you drink :)
This cocktail will definitely EMPRESS your guests (LOL see what we did there?) at your next gathering. Even better, make sure to invite your guests into your kitchen or bar area while you create the drink for them! Half of the fun is getting to see the color change - the other half is drink it, of course! Cheers!