Last Christmas, my husband and I visited Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. We stayed at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is a stunning historic castle hotel next to the harbor. And if you were staying at the hotel that weekend, too, you probably remember a ginger gal perched by a window in QBar or on the patio with a purple cocktail always in her hands…
Q1908 Recipe: Recreating The Fairmont Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail From Our Trip To Canada
I normally don’t find myself falling so head-over-heels for hotel signature cocktails (especially gin-based ones!) but the Q1908 recipe is different, in all the good ways. Thanks to the Empress 1908 gin and egg whites, this cocktail is smooth. The lemon adds a little kick of citrus and the edible flowers finish it off with the perfect floral notes.
Oh, and it’s purple!!
It’s one of those cocktails that makes you feel super fancy when you drink it but it’s easy enough to make that you can whip up a few rounds over your at-home happy hour and dinner.
And it’s good for all seasons. Some cocktails in my mind are strictly summer ones (like my limeade spritzer!) but the Q1908 hits the spot on a hot summer day just as much as it felt like the perfect cocktail to sip while listening to Christmas carols under holiday lights in Victoria at the Fairmont.
Where to Buy Empress 1908 Gin
The key to this cocktail is Empress 1908 gin, it’s non-negotiable and can’t be made with other gin brands. Empress 1908 Gin is a collaboration between Victoria Distillers the Fairmont Empress Hotel. It’s famous because of the purple color, which comes from butterfly pea blossoms.
The hardest part about recreating this cocktail was finding edible flowers – apparently, there is a shortage here in San Francisco??? Normally you can find them at places like Whole Foods (we eventually tracked some down at Good Eggs.)
Because edible flowers can be hard to find depending on where you live, it’s ok if you skip them while making your cocktail if needed. They do add a fun pop of color and a delightful floral kick but the cocktail is still great without them!
Here’s how to make a Q1908.
- 4oz Empress 1908 gin
- 1.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1.5oz Homemade Simple Syrup
- 2 Egg whites
- Edible flowers for garnish
- Mix Empress 1908 gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg whites into a cocktail shaker.
- Shake to mix well.
- Add the ice to the shaker and shake again. This helps make sure the egg whites don't chill too quickly within your glass!
- Pour equally into two glasses and top with edible flowers
But, until then, we’ll be sipping on the Q1908 and daydreaming about British Columbia.