Empress Gin Review

It’s hard to miss Empress Gin.

While visiting Victoria Distillers up in British Columbia where this indigo gin is made, I shared the above-left photo on my Instagram. I soon received multiple direct messages saying something along the lines of “that color cannot be good for you.”

Despite the popularity of butterfly pea blossom in cocktails these days, there are still a lot of people who have never seen a naturally occurring color quite like this before. There is nothing artificial or radioactive about this color… it’s all from a small blue flower.

The stuff is clearly very popular on social media; appearing deep blue, then as the pH levels change (i.e. add citrus or tonic) the color shifts to a soft purple-pink before your eyes. It’s beautiful, but is it any good?

Empress Gin is made with 8 botanicals:

  • Juniper (because hey, it’s a gin!)

  • Grapefruit peel

  • Coriander seed

  • Rose Petal

  • Ginger root

  • Cinnamon bark

Added post-distillation:

  • Fairmont Empress Blend Tea

  • Butterfly Pea Blossom

The vibrant color aside, Empress Gin is a very pleasing London Dry style gin that leans towards the slightly more floral. I enjoyed mixing a few drinks with it while in Victoria and found that it did really well in sours, martinis and longer drinks with bubbles. However, it struggled a bit in cocktails that incorporate more pushy ingredients. So it might not the best choice for a negroni, but you could try messing with the proportions a bit and figure out a better balance of flavor.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed it. I think it’s a great gin for people who might not usually like gin, as it is more soft and approachable. That doesn’t mean seasoned bartenders or long-time gin lovers won’t be in for a good time though. It’s a fun bottle to have on the back bar and I look forward to mixing with it more!

Empress Gin