This Empress Gin Martini is a vibrant take on the traditional French martini using Empress 1908 butterfly pea flower gin along with pineapple juice, lemon juice, and blackberry liqueur. It’s topped off with a few dashes of cranberry bitters to balance it all out.
Empress Gin changes colors when exposed to acid, so you’ll have so much fun making this cocktail.
What is Empress 1908 Gin?
Empress 1908 Gin is a unique gin that is infused with butterfly pea blossom from Victoria Distillers in Victoria, British Columbia. Butterfly pea blossoms are edible flowers that gives the liquids that it infuses a vivid indigo blue color and floral flavors.
The name Empress 1908 is named after the Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is in Victoria, British Columbia, home of Empress Gin. The hotel was established in 1908, hence the 1908 part of the name.
The color of Empress Gin starts out as a natural indigo hue but changes color depending on the pH levels of the drink. For example, using fresh lemon juice will turn this gin from the natural indigo color to a pink color or purple gin. So with any Empress gin cocktail recipes, be prepared for a beautiful color change if you’re using anything acidic like lemon juice or sparkling wine.
The flavor profile is similar to botanical gin, so Empress 1908 works well with many gin-based crisp classic cocktails like a gin sour, gin and tonic water, and martinis like this recipe for a French martini. Needless to say, this beautiful colored gin makes some of the most gorgeous cocktails and is a total crowd-pleaser. Its signature color makes it a great signature cocktail for any event or party.
What is a French martini?
The French martini was invented in the 1980s in NYC. It’s traditionally made up of vodka (often vanilla vodka), raspberry liqueur (usually Chambord), and pineapple juice. Chambord is a French raspberry liqueur that I love, but I decided to go a little off the traditional path on this French martini and made some substitutions.
To make this Empress Gin Martini, you’ll need:
Empress 1908 Gin: Instead of vodka, I decided to use Empress Gin for its beautiful blue hue for a beautiful twist on the French martini.
Blackberry liqueur: Instead of the traditional raspberry Chambord, I opted for a Blackberry liqueur – the one that I used was Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower liqueur, and I don’t regret it one bit.
Pineapple and lemon juice: I wanted the traditional pineapple juice, but I like the extra flavor that the lemon juice brings. If you want to simplify, you can opt simply for pineapple juice.
Cranberry bitters: I know this is an unusual and not traditional ingredient, but I felt that this Empress martini needed something to balance the flavors out. It worked out perfectly making it such a delicious cocktail. You can find cranberry bitters here.
Garnishes: I prefer to use both blackberries and lemon wheels for garnish, but feel free to choose your favorite.
Instructions for Empress Gin Martini
The instructions for this simple Empress gin cocktail couldn’t be easier. While this method is untraditional, it will yield a pretty color change effect before your eyes. Start by adding the gin and blackberry liqueur to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake very well. Strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe glass. Slowly layer in the pineapple and lemon juice to watch the color change.
Lastly, you can garnish for extra beautiful cocktails with blackberries and a lemon wheel.
If you like this Empress Gin Martini, you’ll also like:
- Pomegranate Whiskey Sour
- Limoncello Spritz
- Mistletoe Margaritas
- Pumpkin Spice Margaritas
- El Diablo Cocktail
- Vampire’s Kiss Cocktail
Empress Gin Martini Cocktail Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktails, Gin
- 1 ½ ounce Empress 1908 gin
- ¾ ounce Blackberry liqueur (such as Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower liqueur)
- 3/4 ounce Pineapple juice
- ¼ ounce Lemon juice
- Few dashes of cranberry bitters
- Blackberries and/or lemon wheel
- Pour gin and blackberry liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake for at least 10 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass. Layer pineapple and lemon juice gently. Watch the color change!
- Garnish with blackberries and lemon wheel.
Keywords: Gin, cocktails, french, martini