Friends of Empress 1908

Must-Try Holiday Food & Drink Pairings

Hello, dinner party season!

With our favourite festive feasts just around the corner, menu planning is in full swing. If you’re stumped for what to serve this year we’re here to help with food and drink duos that are sure to wow your crowd!

Whether you’re in charge of appies, sides, dessert or the whole meal, we’re certain you’ll find a new favourite recipe in this season’s delicious round up. From the sweet and simple to the unique and daring pairings, the holidays never looked tastier!


Kicking things off with an appetizer & aperitif that’ll have your loved ones dying to know what’s next! @bitesizedstudio brings us deliciously simple smoked salmon crostinis and the show-stopping Pear Rosemary Spritz.

pear rosemary spritz

  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ¾ oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1½ oz Pear Juice
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • Prosecco, to top
  • Pear Slices & Rosemary, to garnish

Muddle the rosemary in a cocktail shaker. Add Empress 1908, liqueur and pear juice to the shaker and shake with plenty of ice. Strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Top with prosecco and garnish with pear slices and rosemary.

“[Empress 1908’s] complex flavor profile combines perfectly with the flavors of pear, rosemary, and elderflower in this cocktail.”


For our adventurous cooks and cocktail-makers, look no further than @dawnofthedelicious‘ perfect persimmon pairing: The ‘Falling For You’ & savoury pancakes with Persimmon Apple Compote! In Dawn’s own words: “Nothing says fall like hearty appetizers, spiced cocktails, and cuffing season—where everything’s better in pairs.”

Falling For You

  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Spiced Apple Cider
  • 1 Egg White
  • Persimmon Purée*
  • Sparkling Apple Juice, to top
  • Ground Cinnamon, to garnish

Shake all ingredients except the sparkling apple juice vigorously, without ice for 30 seconds, then with ice for 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass, then top with sparkling apple juice. Dust with ground cinnamon and garnish with a persimmon slice.

*Blend half of a Fuyu persimmon, skin on, with 1½ oz water until a creamy consistency is reached.

The supporting acts

Don’t let your mains take all the spotlight! The next pairing is essential to every holiday meal— meet @bluebowlrecipes‘ take on the classic cranberry sauce, combined with the delightful Cranberry Gin Fizz!

Cranberry Gin Fizz

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1 oz Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Prosecco, to top
  • Rosemary
  • Cranberries
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sugar

Dip the rims of your glasses in maple syrup, then sugar. Add ice, cranberry simple syrup, and Empress 1908 Gin to a drink shaker. Shake to chill, then divide between glasses. Top with prosecco & a cranberry skewer and sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!

Nothing says holiday season like a warming Hot Toddy, so keep cozy with this twist on the classic from our friends @cooking_with_wine! They’ve paired the unique ‘Night Owl’ with decadent Champagne Poached Pears— a side dish that might just outshine the main!

night owl Ginger hot toddy

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ½ tsp Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz Ginger Beer
  • ½ tsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 dashes Ginger Bitters
  • 2 -3 oz Hot Water
  • Cinnamon Stick (for aroma and garnish)

Add the ingredients (in order) to a glass mug or heat-proof glass. Stir with the cinnamon stick and serve! Note that the water should be hot, but not boiling. It should be drinkable immediately without having to let it cool down too much.

“This perfect nightcap has a delicate taste that enhances all the botanicals in Empress 1908 Gin with some added flavors that bring the drink to life!”



Whether you eat dessert last, or first, don’t miss this unforgettable duo. @mykalekitchen mixed up a pear punch to share and a pie that’ll leave you reaching for more!

Empress Pear Punch (serves 4)
  • 2 cups Pear Nectar (unsweetened/no added sugar)
  • ½ cup Ginger Beer
  • 1 cup Club Soda
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) Vanilla Liqueur
  • 1 Pear, cored and sliced
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 – 1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin per serving

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except Empress 1908 Gin. When ready to serve, pour ½ – ¾ cup of punch over ice in a cocktail glass. Top off with Empress 1908 Gin and garnish with pear slices and a cinnamon stick.
Note: The pear nectar should be sweet enough on its own. However, if needed add a sweetener of choice when preparing the punch.

And finally, for our friends with a sweet tooth, we bring you the pièce de résistance: @delight.fuel‘s rosemary chocolate cupcakes and pomegranate G&T!

Pomegranate Rosemary Gin Sparkler
  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin 
  • 2-3 oz Tonic Water or Prosecco 
  • 2 oz Pomegranate Juice 
  • 1 tsp Rosemary Syrup 
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds 

In a cocktail glass add ice and pomegranate seeds. Add the gin, pomegranate juice and rosemary syrup. Stir well and top off with tonic water or prosecco. Optional: for garnish, move a citrus wedge along the rim of the glass. Dip in sugar.  

“This incredibly refreshing pomegranate rosemary gin sparkler is the perfect compliment to these yummy rosemary infused chocolate cupcakes.”


Find more holiday cocktails and drinkspiration in our cocktail library, with over 200+ unique recipes to explore!

Sip responsibly!

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