Friends of Empress 1908

Pour Yourself a G&T on April 9th!

Celebrate our favourite day of the year with these delicious recipes!

April 9th marks the day where we raise a glass to a true icon of a cocktail: the gin & tonic! This year, we asked a few of our talented friends to mix up their own renditions of this beloved two-ingredient sip. Before we get into the tasty recipes, let’s dive into a bit of cocktail history! 

So how did this duo come to be? Like most of spirits history, the G&T was initially created for medicinal purposes, in this case against malaria! The first mainstream treatment for this mosquito-borne disease can be traced back to the 1800s with quinine, which continues to be sourced mainly through cinchona bark. 

During the 1800s, sailors in the Royal Navy were given tonic water as preventative treatment – the problem, however, was how bitter the quinine tasted, and as such, taking their dose of medicine was less than enjoyable. What did they decide to cut it with? Gin! An obvious choice because of the gin rations crews were entitled to, gin and quinine became an inseparable pair. Overtime, garnishes were added to mute the bitterness more. Notably, limes were used for their bright and sharp acidity, as well as to prevent scurvy. 

It probably does not come as a surprise that the current Gin & Tonic isn’t the medicinal concoction it was all those years ago. The concentration of quinine was much higher compared to our modern tonic, so today’s beloved G&T is far more enjoyable to the palate!

Without further ado, let’s finally get into the delicious recipes we now know and love:

  1. Empress & Tonic
  2. Rhubarb Empress & Tonic
  3. Lemon Lilac G&T
  4. Cherry Elderflower Rose G&T
  5. G&T Tart

Empress & Tonic

Let’s start off with our signature sip reimagined by our good friend, @highproofpreacher! Simple, yet oh-so delicious and refreshing, there’s a reason it’s our go-to way to enjoy a G&T. The way the crisp bittersweetness of the tonic and juicy grapefruit play off our botanical recipe is simply spectacular!

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
  • 3 oz Premium Tonic Water
  • Grapefruit Slice, for garnish

Start by adding a thin grapefruit slice to a rocks glass and fill with pebble ice. Add remaining ingredients and enjoy!

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Rhubarb Empress & Tonic

Rhubarb season has just about started, and what better way to enjoy it than with this G&T twist? @thesocialsipper changes up the classic with a rhubarb syrup that makes us dream about the summer sunshine! Finished with a touch of cracked pink peppercorns for some sharp spice, it’s just as vibrant as it looks.

  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
  • ½ oz Rhubarb Syrup*
  • 4 oz Tonic Water
  • Lime Wedge
  • Pink Peppercorns, cracked
  • Edible Flower and Rhubarb Ribbon, for garnish

In a glass filled with ice, add rhubarb syrup and tonic water. Slowly pour in Empress 1908 Indigo Gin to float, then top with juice from a lime wedge and a sprinkle of pink peppercorns. Garnish with rhubarb ribbon and an edible flower.

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Lemon Lilac G&T

Experience the best of springtime with this citrusy and floral delight by @emilylaurae! A little sweet, tangy, and unbelievably fragrant; a glass of this is bound to brighten up your day.

  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin
  • 1½ oz Meyer Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Lilac Syrup
  • 4 oz Grapefruit Tonic Water
  • Meyer Lemon Slices and Lilac Blossoms, to garnish

Add Meyer lemon juice and lilac syrup to a glass and fill with ice ¾ of the way. Add tonic water then layer with a float of Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin using the back of a barspoon. Garnish with Meyer lemon slices and lilac blossoms, and enjoy!

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Cherry Elderflower Rose G&T

@the.boozy.ginger sweetens things up with a burst cherries to complement the elegant botanicals of our Empress Elderflower Rose Gin! Fruity and succulent, it’s a wonderful way to use up your seasonal fruits and elevate your G&T.

  • 1½ oz Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin
  • ½ oz Cherry Syrup*
  • 3 oz Tonic Water
  • Cherry & Edible Flower, to garnish

In a glass filled with ice, add Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin, cherry syrup, and top with tonic water. Garnish with a cherry and edible flower & enjoy!

*To make the cherry syrup, add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries to a saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for an additional 2-5 minutes. Allow to cool before straining into an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

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Gin & Tonic Tart

Any good holiday needs a dessert, and @marissamakes__ has us covered with the perfect choice for the occasion! Between a toasty crust and delectably zesty lemon and lime curd, you can’t pass up on a slice along with your G&T. Recipe makes one 9″ tart.

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • ¼ cup Chilled Tonic Water
  • ¾ cup + 3 tbsp Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • 2 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
  • ¾ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup Granulated White Sugar
  • ½ cup Cold Unsalted Butter
  • Zest of 1 Lemon and 1 Lime
  • Lemon Slices, Lime Zest, and Edible Flowers, for garnish

To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer. Add the salt, flour, lime zest, and tonic water, and mix on low until just combined.

Evenly press the shortbread dough into a 9″ loose bottomed tart pan. Use a flat bottomed glass to help smooth the surface. Using a fork, dock the base of the crust to prevent too much puffing. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, to allow the butter to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the tart crust for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.

To make the curd filling, add the lemon juice, sugar, zests, gin, and beaten eggs to a medium sized heavy-bottomed sauce pan or pot. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat. This curd is a bit on the thinner side, so it will not get super thick. Remove from heat and using a fine-mesh sieve, strain curd into a heatproof container to remove any bits of egg.

Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, to the container with the hot curd. Stir continuously until all the butter is incorporated. The heat from the curd will melt it into the mixture. Allow to cool slightly before adding to the tart shell. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the center has a little bit of jiggle. It will set up more as it cools.

Allow to cool before decorating. Once cooled, decorate with lime zest, lemon slices, and edible flowers. Pair with a G&T and enjoy!

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Need some more ideas? Check out our roundup from last year!

Is it any wonder the gin & tonic is our favourite cocktail? With such a simple template, it’s easy to get creative and make tweaks to create your own unique version! We hope this gave you some delicious inspo as you sip along with us on G&T Day. Share your creations and reshakes with us on Instagram with the hashtags #EmpressGin and #GinAndTonicDay – we’d love to see what you’re sipping on!

For more cocktail inspiration, be sure to check out our InstagramCocktail Page, or Blog!

Sip responsibly!

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