From an iconic hotel to a singular spirit
The inspiration behind Empress 1908 is as unique as our gin. This is how a hotel helped shape the distinctive taste and colour of our gin.
The inspiration for Empress 1908
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 balance of traditional elegance and modern sophistication.
Empress Tea Blends
It was the hotel’s afternoon tea in particular that inspired the creation of Empress 1908 Gin. This sumptuous 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 other carefully sourced botanicals, we created a unique gin that pairs the traditional juniper notes of a London Dry with a more modern flavour profile. The result is a gin that is at once delicate and opulent.
Eight Natural Botanicals
Micro-distilled in small batch copper-pot stills, Empress 1908 is hand-crafted using eight signature botanicals: tea, juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark, and butterfly pea blossom. It’s the pea blossom, which we discovered in one of the Empress tea blends, that imbues the gin with a distinctive earthy note, as well as its vivid hue with a stunning secret to reveal – by adding citrus or tonic, Empress 1908 is transformed from breathtaking indigo to a beautiful soft pink.
Empress 1908 has made a big splash in the world of spirits, and has received a number of awards for its merits.
- Gold, 2018 International Craft Competition Awards
- Silver, 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
- Double Gold, 2018 San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge
- Gold Medal and Best in Class, 2018 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition
- Best Canadian Classic Gin, 2018 World Gin Awards
- Best Alcohol Drink, 2017 World Beverage Innovation Awards
- Gold Medal, 2017 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition
- Judges’ Selection, 2017 Alberta Beverage Awards