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Our Story

tradition with a twist

Handcrafted in small batch copper-pot stills, Empress 1908 Gin is made by Victoria Distillers and inspired by the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. On top of traditional botanicals, we add a signature blend of black tea served at the Empress Hotel and butterfly pea blossom, an exotic herb that balances the traditional citrus notes of gin with a warm herbal earthiness, and gives the gin its natural indigo colour. Empress 1908’s combination of exquisite taste, delicate aroma, soft texture, and remarkable presentation provide the perfect base for a new aesthetic of cocktail creation and enjoyment.

Traditional Elegance

Our Inspiration

Since 1908, travellers from around the world have fallen in love with the Fairmont Empress Hotel for its majestic grandeur, picturesque vistas, and incomparable afternoon tea service. Overlooking the Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia, this iconic destination has hosted royalty, dignitaries, and discerning explorers for over a century. Today, as the Empress moves into a new era, it exemplifies a perfect blend of traditional elegance and modern sophistication.

Brilliant Creations

Empress Tea Blends

The hotel’s afternoon tea in particular inspired the creation of Empress 1908. This tradition is made unforgettable thanks to the curation of an exclusive collection of seasonal, handpicked tea leaves, blended to create the perfect cup. By taking a classic Empress tea and coupling it with carefully sourced botanicals, we created a unique gin that pairs traditional juniper notes of a London Dry with a modern flavour profile. The result is a gin that is at once delicate and opulent.

Natural & Distinct

Our Unique Colour

Butterfly pea blossom gives Empress 1908 its distinct indigo hue. Discovered in another bespoke Empress tea blend, the pea blossom imbues the gin with a distinctive earthy note that balances traditional citrus notes and yields a rich pigmentation. This deep indigo hue changes to bright lavender, soft pink, or fuchsia depending on the mixer, adding to the rich sensory experience of enjoying an Empress 1908 cocktail. No artificial colours or stabilizers are used, so while the flavour will last forever, the unique indigo colour will fade over time. Fading is accelerated by exposure to sunlight, so we recommend that you experience each bottle within a year of purchase and store it in a cool, dark place. After all, a gin this beautiful is meant to be enjoyed at its best.

Inspired Ingredients 

Eight Natural Botanicals

Empress 1908’s distinct flavour profile is a result of a fine balance of the 8 natural botanicals that go into its distillation.

Raise Your Glass

Most Memorable Awards

Empress 1908 has made a big splash in the world of spirits. Our award-winning gin has received praise on the local, national, and international stage, including but not limited to: