Friends of Empress 1908

Festive Food Pairings

It’s Food Pairing Season!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we’ve been busy dreaming up some tantalizing cocktails to complement our classic comfort food favourites this year. We’ve teamed up with a few of our talented foodie friends to share with you some delectable festive pairings perfect for your Thanksgiving feast and for all season long!

From the warm & spicy to the sweet & sparkling, these recipes are sure to please even particularly picky Aunt Joyce. So queue up the holiday music, pour yourself one of these festive tipples, and start cooking!

Kicking things off with the beloved flavour combo of cranberry & orange,  @shortgirltallorder brings us two tasty treats. Read on for the cocktail recipe, and visit Megan’s blog for the details on how to make her scrumptious Vegan Cranberry Orange Sticky Buns!

[Serves four]
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Ice (for shaker & cocktails)
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 6 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  1. First make the cranberry sauce by adding the cranberries, sugar, water, rosemary, and orange zest to a saucepan. Stir together, bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat until the cranberries burst. Once the cranberry sauce is ready, remove and discard the rosemary sprig and set the sauce aside to cool.
  2. Add the cooled cranberry sauce to a cocktail shaker and muddle the cranberries to release any of the remaining juice. Then, fill the cocktail shaker with ice and the fresh orange juice. Shake together until the glass is frosted.
  3. To make one cocktail, add 2-3 ice cubes to a glass and pour ¼ cup of the cranberry orange syrup from the cocktail shaker. Then, add ½ cup sparkling water and 1½ oz Empress 1908 gin to each glass and stir together.
  4. Top each cocktail with desired garnishes such as dried orange slices, sugared cranberries, or fresh rosemary. Then, serve and enjoy!

These vegan buns are the perfect excuse to use up all that leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or the perfect treat for any Holiday brunch.

Short Girl Tall Order

Next up, this to-die-for dish & cocktail pairing from @supermancooks is a must-add to your holiday dinner menu. Meet the match made in heaven: a delicate & floral sparkling sip alongside sweetened apple cider-roasted brussel sprouts. Find the cocktail recipe below, and details on the veg at

Violet Femme
  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1½ oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Sparkling Wine (to top)
  • Edible Flower or Grapefruit Peel

Chill a martini or coupe glass. Add the gin, grapefruit juice and elderflower liqueur to a shaker with ice. Cap and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into the chilled glass. Top with sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with edible flowers or grapefruit peel, and enjoy!

The perfect oven roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe, flavored with apple cider for the right amount of sweetness. Crispy, caramelized and delicious.

Superman Cooks

It doesn’t get more festive than our next food pairing, compliments of our friends @cooking_with_wine! Say hello to the Spiced Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz, paired perfectly with a plate of delicious Asparagus & Mushroom Cheese Soufflé Bites!

Read on for all the cocktail details, and visit for the appetizer recipe! 

Spiced Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz
  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1 oz Spiced Pomegranate & Rosemary Syrup*
  • 3 dashes Acid Phosphate (or 3 drops of Lemon Juice)
  • ¾ oz Tonic Water
  • 1 sprig Rosemary (for garnish) 

Add Empress, simple syrup, and acid phosphate (or lemon juice) to a tall mixing glass with ice. Mix for 30 seconds or until chilled. Add the tonic water and mix for 5 more seconds, then pour into a glass over ice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*Syrup Recipe INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 oz Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1½ cups Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 sprig Rosemary 
*Syrup Recipe Method:

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Let the syrup cool for about 10 minutes. The sugar will be completely dissolved and you will have a thin syrup consistency. Strain out the solids and allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator and use for up to 2 months.

These bite-sized appetizers are going to be your go-to for any gathering this year!

Cooking with Wine

It wouldn’t be a holiday cocktail list without a proper gin fizz, and @daniliciousdishes‘ Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz is oh-so-deliciously bright and sweet, making it the perfect match for her Whipped Goat Cheese with Cranberry Jalapeño Jam. Be sure to check out Danielle’s blog next week for this must-try recipe!

Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz
  • 2-3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1½ oz Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • ½ oz Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cold Egg White
  • Soda Water (to top)

Add Empress, cranberry juice, orange juice, maple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker topped with lid and shake vigorously without ice. Add ice and shake again until cold and frothy. Pour the cocktail into a glass. Top with desired amount of sparkling water. Top with a caramelized orange slice, if desired. Enjoy!

And that brings us to our final food pairing! Take a sip of @lenaskitchenblog‘s Cranberry Gin & Tonic— tart, festive and oh-so-simple, it’s a last-minute showstopper that’s sure to wow your crowd! Paired with delicious cherry & brie puff pastry bites, this duo is tough to beat. Keep reading for both recipes!

  • 1½ oz Cranberry Juice
  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • Premium Tonic Water, to top
  • Lime Wheel
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Rosemary Sprig

Build in a cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with a lime slice, fresh cranberries and a rosemary sprig. Enjoy!

Puff Pastry Bites
  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry, defrosted and cut into 24 equal pieces
  • Cherry Jam, or use your favorite
  • Brie, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Egg, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400F. Add parchment paper to a baking sheet.

Add a sprinkle of flour to your surface. Roll out the puff pastry a bit on all sides. Cut into 18 equal pieces. Score the edges to create a frame with a knife. Using a fork poke the middle part of each pastry piece. Whisk an egg with a touch of water and then brush each pastry piece.

Bake for 10 minutes. Using a fork poke the centers if the pastry puffed up. Add a small spoonful of jam and a piece of Brie on top. Enjoy with the Cranberry Gin & Tonic!

Find more holiday food pairings in our latest Instagram Guide

Sip responsibly!

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