Today is all about England's national spirit. Gin! Empress Gin, to be exact. Today, we're answering all of your Empress Gin questions. But before we get started, let's learn a bit about gin.
Gin dates back to the late 1600s. Many people might think that the popular spirit originates from Holland, not Britain.
Wondering how gin got its name? Gin derives from the Dutch word for juniper. Juniper is a key factor in what makes a gin a gin. Juniper in dutch translates to genever. When shortened, you just get gin.
For centuries, gin has been quite the popular spirit overseas. They even say that gin is the base of most cocktail recipes. Although gin is England's national spirit, England isn't the country that consumes the most gin. Who consumes the most gin, you ask? The Philippines consumes the most gin out of every other country. And although England may not be the top gin consumer, the UK produces the most gin.
Now, let's go over some FAQs.
Where and how is Empress Gin made?
Victoria Distillers makes Empress Gin in Victoria, British Columbia, right on the water. Victoria Distillers is not only the producer of Empress Gin but also some other fine Canadian spirits, including Victoria Gin and Oaken Gin. Victoria Distillers is also one of the oldest distilleries in Canada.
Empress 1908 Gin is handcrafted in small-batch copper pot stills. Empress 1908 Gin is a quality gin that you can taste.
How old is Empress 1908 Gin?
Well, it's funny you should ask. It's in the name. Empress Gin came out in 1908, the same year as the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, opened on January 20th of 1908 and has played an extensive role in Empress Gin.
What inspired Empress Gin?
The Fairmont Empress Hotel is known for its extensive beauty. All the travelers who would stop at the hotel on their journeys fell in love with the iconic destination. While the hotel played a major role in the inspiration behind Empress 1908 Gin, the afternoon tea was the greatest influence of all.
They say the afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel was the perfect blend of tea leaves. Empress 1908 Gin is a masterful blend of the same tea and several different botanicals. What do you get when you put the two together? You get masterful perfection in the form of gin.
How does Empress Gin get its vibrant color?
The color of Empress 1908 Gin really catches the eye. Butterfly pea blossom gives the gin its delicate yet vibrant shade of lavender blue. Sources say that the butterfly pea blossom originated in Asia and later made its way to India, then Europe. The color is so beautiful it almost feels unnatural. The leaves tend to be scentless; however, when made into a tea, your palate will be met with an earthy and somewhat woody taste.
The vibrancy of the butterfly pea blossom depends wholly on the water you use to steep your tea. If the alkalinity in the water is higher, the blue hue will be deeper. If you make a cocktail using Empress 1908 Gin, you'll notice the color change if you add ingredients like tonic or citrus. What once was indigo will shift into a light purple and almost pink shade.
What are the 8 natural botanicals that go into its distillation?
8 natural botanicals make up Empress 1908 Gin. Each botanical is essential in making the gin's flavor distinct from the rest. The 8 botanicals include butterfly pea blossom, Fairmont Empress tea, juniper, grapefruit peel, coriander seed, cinnamon bark, rose petal, and ginger root. Let's dive a little deeper and learn more about what these botanicals add to Empress Gin.
Butterfly Pea Blossom
As mentioned above, the significance of the butterfly pea blossom is exceptional. The flavor is subtle, but the butterfly pea blossom provides a warm, herbal earthiness. Without it, Empress 1908 Gin wouldn't have its impressive indigo color.
Fairmont Empress Tea
We mentioned early that the Fairmont Empress Tea played a big role in the creation of Empress 1908 Gin. The Fairmont Empress Tea consists of several different tea blends from Assam, South India, Kenya, Ceylon, and China. They are seasonal, high-quality teas. According to Empress Gin, "it is one of the finest blends in the world."
Juniper makes it gin! The juniper adds complexity to the gin. And here's a fun fact while we're here. All gins contain juniper. It's the constant. In fact, according to the Craft Gin Club, "the predominant flavour must beof juniper, otherwise the drink can’t be defined as gin, by law."
The grapefruit peel provides the traditional citrus notes of gin. Whereas the orange or lemon peel would be the conventional route to take, Empress 1908 Gin takes a turn towards the unexpected with the grapefruit peel. It adds some zest, some needed bitterness, and some sweetness. What a balance!
The coriander seed adds a dash of warmth to the gin. Coriander seed works well with the citrus notes of the grapefruit peel.
The cinnamon bark gives the gin a sense of spice. The cinnamon bark is essential to the spicy element of the gin.
Time to enhance our floral senses. The rose petal adds a soft, sweetness that's much needed among the rest. The subtle and soft sweetness of the rose petal addition allows the spices from other botanicals to balance out.
And finally, for the last botanical, but certainly not least, we have the ginger root. Ginger is a fragrant aromatic that adds a bit of citrus and spice. The robust features of the ginger root ultimately add to the overall balance of the eight botanicals at play here.
Is Empress Gin dry?
Empress 1908 Gin classifies as a classic London-style dry gin.
The classification of London dry may have originated in England; however, now it's everywhere. What makes a gin London dry? It only means that there is no added sugar. All of the flavors come from natural sources that are the added botanicals.
Does Empress Gin make any good cocktails?
Why, yes, Empress Gin does make some delicious cocktails. The vibrancy of the gin makes for some eye-catching cocktails! You'll definitely have all of your guests pleased if you bring out some indigo-colored cocktails. That's for sure!
First up, let's make a French 75. It's a cocktail with sophistication. And when you use Empress 1908 Gin to make a French 75, you get a beautiful color. A quick heads up, the deep indigo color of the Empress Gin will fade slightly when added to lemon juice. For a French 75, you'll need the following ingredients:
- 1 oz Empress 1908 Gin
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 of simple syrup
- Some champagne
- A lemon twist
Instructions: Get your cocktail shaker out for this one. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add your Empress 1908 Gin, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well until the mixture is well chilled. Strain into a champagne glass. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy!
Next up, we have a Negroni because the Negroni is all the rage right now. If you know, you know! This is the one and only Empress Gin recipe for a Negroni. For this one, you'll need the following:
- 1.5 oz Empress 1908 Gin
- 3/4 oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco
- 3/4 oz dry vermouth
- A grapefruit twist
Instructions: In a rocks glass, add your Empress 1908 Gin, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, and dry vermouth with some ice. Stir with a stirring spoon for 20 seconds or so. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. Serve and enjoy! (If you have a large cube or sphere of ice, use that instead of loose ice.)
And finally, we have an Aviation cocktail. For this one, you'll need the following:
- 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
- 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 fresh lemon juice
- A lemon twist
Instructions: Start with some prep and chill your cocktail glass.In a cocktail shaker with ice, add your Empress 1908 Gin, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. Shake well until your mixture is thoroughly chilled. Strain into your prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy!
Where can I buy Empress 1908 Gin?
Looking to get your hands on a bottle of Empress 1908 Gin? Do you want to impress, or should I say empress all your friends with some delicious and dazzling cocktails? Do you want a unique gin for your liquor cabinet?
Check out the Liquorama website to browse our wide selection of wine, beer, and spirits. We value excellent customer service and customer convenience. Get your favorite spirits shipped right to your door with a few easy clicks. Or visit us in Upland, CA. We would love to have you!