Tag Archive for bc Spirits

Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail {Vegan}

I am a girl who likes a good cocktail. I appreciate the ability to mix flavours and the creativity that comes with being a good bartender. It is, I think, an underrated skill. 

As Vancouver has become more and more interested in food, it’s also become more and more interested in locally-produced craft beer, wine and spirts, and this makes me really happy. I’d much prefer to support a local producer if possible. 

There are a few great spirits producers in the Okanagan (Legend is one of my faves), and here in Vancouver we’ve got Long Table, Sons of Vancouver, Odd Society, and Sid’s, just to name a few. 

Vancouver Island also has seen a crop of distilleries over the last few years, specializing in gin. Sheringham is killing it right now, winning tons of awards. I have long loved Stump Gin, which tastes like Christmas trees. And then a few years back, Empress 1908 Gin burst onto the scene, and got tons of attention for its delicate qualities and gorgeous blue-purple colour. 

I got to visit the distillery in Sydney and see how they make it. The colour comes from Butterfly Pea Tea, which brews up blue, but turns purple when you add acid to it. 

This is a classic “sour” recipe. That means you have a base spirit (in this case the Empress 1908 Gin), an acid (often lemon or lime juice), a simple syrup to sweeten (in this case I’m using a plain simple syrup, but it gives you an opportunity to be creative and add another layer by flavouring the simple syrup), and often it’s finished with egg whites. The egg whites foam as you shake the cocktail, making a creamy white foamy layer on the top of the cocktail. 

Now, some people have anxieties about consuming raw egg whites, and some people are vegan, so I used aquafaba instead. 

And in case you’re worried your cocktail will taste like beans, let me put your mind to rest. I’ve done side-by-side blind taste tests using egg whites and aquafaba, and there’s no way to tell the difference. 

a purple ombre cocktail garnished with flowers

So, here is my version of the Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail, but done vegan. 

Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail {Vegan}

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ½- 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ¾ oz aquafaba
  • Butterfly pea tea for garnish (optional)

Method: