With its delightful colour transformation and royal aesthetic, Empress 1908 is a unique treat for lovers of violet gin.
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A little bit of background
Created by Victoria Distillers from Canada, Empress 1908 takes inspiration from the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel’s blend of tea to create a unique and magical gin. Further enhanced by the all-natural butterfly pea flower, the gin is said to move from a lush indigo blue colour to soft pink at the addition of citrus or tonic.
Fortunately, Empress 1908 doesn’t just have a regal name; it looks like a special addition to any gin collection. The indigo blue-purple colouring looks striking in the tall, glass bottle but it’s the rose gold lid that really gives it a royal, feminine touch.
Interestingly, the hotel which inspired Empress once hosted Prince Charles and Camilla. You could easily imagine the Duchess of Cambridge sipping on this.
- Fairmont Empress Blend Tea
- Grapefruit Peel
- Coriander Seed
- Rose Petal
- Butterfly Pea Blossom
- Ginger Root
- Cinnamon Bark
The Perfect Serve
Create an Empress & Tonic with 2 oz Empress 1908, 3 oz tonic water and a slice of grapefruit. For more Empress 1908 cocktail inspiration discover how to make your own purple cocktails with our step-by-step guide.
On the Nose
Don’t be fooled by the gin’s pretty appearance; one waft and you’re given a strong hit of juniper. Rose petal and tea from the Fairmont Empress Hotel may conjure up an expectation of delicate, floral notes but the gin actually builds into a pretty powerful finale.
The colour of the gin in the glass is hard to define. It’s certainly not as permanently indigo blue as you’d imagine; in good light it can look deep purple.
At first sip, Empress gives off a surprising velvety sweetness followed by that big hit of juniper again.
Pour your tonic into the glass to watch the gin transform. It’s deeply satisfying watching your gin go from a deep indigo blue-purple to a soft purple-pink.
It’s not as clear cut as you might expect, some may simply see the gin moving from a darker to a lighter purple, but look closely as you pour. The gin definitely moves through a series of subtle colour changes before arriving at its final hue.
The taste is wonderfully soft and sherbet-like. The immediate juniper hit is not as powerful here and you’re left with a sweet, fizzy G&T.
Having sipped on a few violet gins, I almost expect it by default to have a flavour. The fact that it doesn’t feels initially surprising but not unwelcome.
Those who love the idea of a purple G&T but with the taste of a good honest traditional gin, you must try this.
Empress 1908 is available from ClicknDrink now for £37.99.
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