Guides

Flavour Combinations Fit for Sunshine Sipping

Try out these tasty mixes to bring on the seasonal vibes!

The sun’s been off-and-on here in beautiful Sidney, BC, but we’re still feeling the shining mood nevertheless. As the days grow longer, you can find us shaking up plenty of cocktails in anticipation of warmer weather ahead. That’s why we’re sharing some of our favourite flavour pairings to play with this upcoming season— so, pick up some fresh produce and let’s explore our go-to sunny day drinks!

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  1. Florals and Citrus
  2. Vegetal and Herbs
  3. Fruits and Spice
  4. Tropical and Bitter

1. Florals and Citrus

We can’t talk about sunny days without bringing up this tried-and-true combo! Florals are always a delight this time of year, though they can be divisive with their potent fragrance. The juicy, yet sharp flavours from citrus help brighten things up so that you still get the best of the elegant and delicate floral component. To us, this pairing makes for spring in a glass, so it’s no wonder it’s a go-to for many!

@join_jules has us falling head over heels with her Lavender Love Potion, combining juicy grapefruit and soft lavender!
Ingredients
  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Lavender-Zested Syrup*
  • ½ oz tsp Rose Water
  • 1 Egg white
  • Lavender and White Pansy, for garnish
Method

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake (without ice) for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into a chilled coupe or Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with fresh lavender and a white pansy on top! 

*For the syrup, add 1 cup each of sugar and water along with 5-6 lavender sprigs, and 1 tbsp fresh grapefruit zest to a medium saucepan and place on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, let simmer for 10 minutes, cool to room temperature, strain, and store it in the refrigerator.

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2. Vegetal and Herbs

In search for the ultimate refresher? This duo will check all your boxes! We love the savoury edge vegetals can offer depending on the produce you choose— they pair marvellously with many gin botanicals, too! This might just be our favourite way to get our daily serving of veggies.

We recommend starting out with ingredients that boast a crisp flavour profile like cucumbers or carrots, and pairing them with mint, basil, or cilantro for ease. Feel free to have fun and go wild from there, as the options are endless!

Try making a cucumber mint syrup for the Emerald Rose by @mykalekitchen!
Ingredients
  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin
  • ¾ oz Cucumber Mint Syrup*
  • ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Soda Water, to top
  • Dried Rose Buds and Mint Leaves, for garnish
Method

Add syrup and juice to a collins glass then fill with ice. Add club soda, leaving room for the gin. Float with Empress Elderflower Rose Gin and garnish. Stir before enjoying!

*To make the syrup, combine 1 cup each of sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to cook until the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in 300 g chopped cucumber and 10-15 mint leaves. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature, cover and set aside for 30 minutes up to 2 hours. You can also keep it refrigerated overnight for a stronger flavour. Strain the mixture then optionally add 1 drop of Pandan Leaf food colouring for a bold emerald hue (if using gel colouring, dissolve in 1-2 tsp of water).

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3. Fruits and Baking Spice

Take a note from tiki tradition and broaden this mix for any seasonal fruit! Sure, spices tend to be more associated with fall and winter warmers, but they work well for spring and summer too. The perfect spice can often bolster the brighter aromatics we’re used to enjoying in hotter weather by contrasting and acting as a more robust base note.

Enjoy the mix of vibrant strawberries and soothing cardamom in the Rosy Cardamom Bloom by @maplechutney!
Ingredients
  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz Strawberry Cardamom Simple Syrup*
  • ½ oz Orange Liqueur
  • Soda Water, to top
  • Strawberry and Rose, for garnish
Method

In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients and shake to chill and combine. Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish and enjoy!

*To make the syrup, combine ½ cup each of sugar and water, 6-7 strawberries (washed and chopped), and 4 cardamom pods to a saucepan and bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool before sealing in a container and keeping in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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4. Tropical and Bitter

Tropical fruits are always fun, and offer far more variety than the sugary cocktails that might come to mind. It’s their zesty sweetness that makes these fruits great to play around with, particularly for contrasting combinations. Adding bitter elements can help tone down the fruit’s natural sugar to provide balance as well as complexity. There are numerous sources of such flavours you can look to: liqueurs that are more earthy are great for robust bitterness while certain types of citrus like grapefruit peel are sharper and more vibrant.

@wildfolklore balances these flavours with the Tropical Equation, combining passionfruit and pineapple with bittersweet Aperol and gin!
Ingredients
  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
  • ½ oz Aperol
  • ½ oz of Passion Fruit Syrup
  • ½ oz of Pineapple Juice
  • Sparkling Water
  • Jasmine Blossom Water, to mist
  • Blood Orange Slice, for garnish
Method

Start by adding Aperol to a glass and then fill with ice. Slowly add passion fruit syrup and pineapple juice followed by a splash of sparkling water. Float Empress Indigo Gin on top, generously mist the top with jasmine blossom water, and garnish.

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Whether you’re looking to make a playful sip to capture the whimsy of spring and summer or just wanting something to quench your thirst, any one of these combinations may become your new favourite. We encourage you to experiment and have fun with ingredients you have access to, especially to make the most out of the seasonal bounty. We’d love to know if you discover any unexpected pairings that turn into a staple in your rotation!

For more cocktail inspiration, check out our Instagram, Cocktail Page, or Blog!

Sip responsibly!

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