Friends of Empress 1908

Join us for High Tea at Home!

Join us for High Tea at Home!

Did you know? Empress 1908 Gin’s botanical recipe was inspired in part by the iconic Afternoon Tea service at Fairmont Empress! This teatime tradition has been a staple of our city for over 100 years. So, to celebrate this piece of our story, we asked some of our favourite mixologists, foodies & photographers to join us for a unique ‘High Tea at Home’ experience.

Tea at the Empress: a timeless experience fit for royalty!

When searching for the perfect palate to inspire our gin, the distillers behind Empress 1908 immediately thought of Fairmont Empress’s incredible tea selection. With over 20 unique teas on the menu, our team began distilling each blend to discover how the flavours might play with our overall recipe. In the end, we settled on the Fairmont Empress Signature tea blend, featuring “components from Assam, Kenya, South India, Ceylon and China”. The stunning Blue Suede Shoes, a blend that features butterfly pea blossom, was the inspiration for Empress 1908’s all-natural hue.

Using a selection of delicious local teatime goodies, the creators set to work imagining a handful of stunning, tea-inspired cocktail recipes. From the fresh and floral ‘Empress Through the Looking Glass’ to the summery ‘Berry Tea Cocktail’ there’s a drink for every palate! 

Continue reading to find a few of our favourites or check out our Instagram Guide to view them all!

Try out these delicious tea-inspired cocktails!


First up, sip on the delicate “Ginger, Cucumber & Mint Cocktail” by the wonderful Using ginger-infused honey, cucumber, mint, and lemon juice, this dreamy sip is perfect for all your teatime festivities! 

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Ginger-Infused Honey
  • ½ oz Egg White
  • 1 tbsp Cucumber, chopped
  • Fresh Mint Leaves

METHOD: In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber and mint with the ginger honey. Add remaining ingredients and double shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with edible flowers.


Next, try the refreshing ‘Berry Tea Cocktail’ by @thesocialsipper. Placing chilled herbal tea at the centre, Carolyn pairs lavender-infused honey with strawberries, lemon, and a splash of sparkling water.

  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ¼ cup Herbal Tea
  • ½ tbsp Lavender-Infused Honey
  • ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Sparkling Water (to top)
  • 2 Strawberries, chopped

METHOD: Combine honey and herbal tea and stir until dissolved. Chill. Add strawberries and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add the tea and honey mixture and ice and shake until chilled. Divide into 2 glasses over fresh ice. Top each with a splash of sparkling water. Slowly pour a 1½ oz of Empress 1908 Gin into each glass. Garnish with strawberries, chamomile and lemon. Stir before enjoying!


For those looking for a richer recipe, the bold flavours of @emilylaurae’s creation are sure to win you over. Besides, who could say no to blueberry jam, hibiscus & black tea, and frothy egg white foam?

  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Blueberry, Hibiscus & Black Tea Syrup
  • ½ oz Blueberry Jam
  • 1 Egg White
  • Fresh Blueberries

METHOD: Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake for 30 seconds without ice. Add ice, and shake for an additional 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe, and garnish with fresh blueberries!


Finally, mix up the whimsical ‘Empress Through the Looking Glass’ created by @mrs.barnes. Loaded with floral flavour from violet honey and elderflower tonic, it’s fit for any Mad Hatter’s tea party!

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ½ oz Sweet Basil Simple Syrup (find the syrup recipe here!)
  • 1 tsp Violet Honey
  • Elderflower Tonic (to top)
  • Edible Flowers & Basil Leaves

METHOD: Shake ingredients on ice and strain into a chilled stemless wine glass over fresh ice. Garnish with edible flowers and a sweet basil sprig.

Learn more about our story here or visit our cocktail page for further ‘drinkspiration’!

Sip responsibly!

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