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5-Minute Empress Gin Sour Cocktail

4.9 stars (7 ratings)

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This 5-Minute Empress Gin Sour is a show-stopping gin cocktail. Made from Empress Gin, with its distinctive ability to change color from a striking indigo to a soft lavender, this cocktail is designed to impress. A five-ingredient recipe with the flavors of lemon, juniper, and coriander, it takes about five minutes to shake and strain this gorgeous drink into a pretty glass.

Two empress 1908 gin sours.

The Magic of Empress 1908 Gin

Whether you’re celebrating life’s special moments, enjoying a cocktail with friends, or just sipping on a cocktail at the end of a long day, a fun and refreshing beverage like this Empress gin sour cocktail is always welcome. While a classic gin sour is made with London dry gin, this recipe features Empress 1908 Gin, giving the original gin sour recipe a makeover with this fun color-changing gin.

Empress Gin is naturally a beautiful indigo color, somewhere between purple and blue, which comes from being distilled with the blossoms of butterfly pea plants. While you might expect this gin to taste different or have floral notes, it still has the same citrus, juniper, and coriander notes that make gin such a distinctive alcohol. 

The magic that makes this gin so much fun at parties is that it can change colors. When you add acid, like lemon juice or lime juice, the gin changes color from dark purple-blue to bright pink. When used in this gin sour, the shaken egg white combined with ice alters the color again to make the cocktail a pretty shade of lavender. It definitely adds an extra fun element you won’t find with your everyday gin.

Close up of an Empress 1908 Gin Sour with a frothy top and lavender garnish.

Recommended Bar Tools

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To make this amazing cocktail you are going to need two cocktail glasses. The prettier, the better! I like this set of two gold-rimmed glasses. You will also need a cocktail shaker with a tight-fitting lid and a cocktail strainer. While I recommend a stand-alone strainer when straining out fruit, like when making a blackberry bourbon smash or margarita, this cocktail only needs to strain out ice, so the built-in strainer should do the job. I am currently loving this glass shaker with measuring marks and both a jigger and strainer built into the cap.

Making Simple Syrup

Sugar doesn’t dissolve easily in cold liquids, so when you need to add a touch of sweetness to a gin cocktail recipe that won’t be muddled together, you add simple syrup. Like the lime simple syrup that features in this virgin Moscow mule, making simple syrup is super easy to do.

You can make a cooked version of simple syrup that will keep for weeks in an airtight container in your fridge. Bringing it to a boil extends its shelf life by killing off any microbes or bacteria.

  1. Add equal amounts of water and granulated white sugar to a small saucepan.
  2. Bring it to a boil, and then let it cool.

If you are feeling lazy, you can also add equal parts sugar and hot water to a clean jar and shake until the sugar dissolves. Since this version isn’t boiled, it shouldn’t be stored for use later.

Ingredients for a Empress 1908 Gin Sour: A purple bottle of gin, simple syrup, a lemon, an egg white, and bar tools.

How To Make An Empress Gin Sour Cocktail

This cocktail tastes like a classic gin sour. It has flavors of citrus, juniper, and coriander, with a sour undertone from the lemon that is balanced by the sweetness of simple syrup. The eggwhite will foam when shaken and then rise to settle on the top of our cocktail, creating a fun, frothy element.

It is refreshing, flavorful, and relatively potent, so always drink responsibly. As written, this gin recipe makes about enough for two cocktails.

Tips For Success

As with any recipe, there are always a few tips to share in hopes of helping you get it right the first time.

  • This cocktail is best served strained without ice, but it’s also pretty tasty over ice on a hot day. It helps slow you down while giving you something icy cold to hold onto.
  • Please note serving sizes are approximate, and the number of cocktails produced will vary depending on the size of your glassware.
  • If making these for a party or crowd, it helps to make the simple syrup ahead of time and chill it.
  • Set up a DIY cocktail bar and let your guests play bartender and serve themselves.
An Empress 1908 Gin Sour with a frothy top and lavender garnish on a gold platter.

How to Store

Once mixed, gin sours should be consumed. You can keep pre-squeezed lemon juice and the simple syrup in the refrigerator, but the gin itself should be kept in the original bottle in a dry, dark, cool place.

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Two empress 1908 gin sours.

5-Minute Empress Gin Sour Cocktail

This 5-Minute Empress Gin Sour is a show-stopping gin cocktail. Made from Empress Gin, with its distinctive ability to change color from a striking indigo to a soft lavender, this cocktail is designed to impress. A five-ingredient recipe with the flavors of lemon, juniper, and coriander, it takes about five minutes to shake and strain this gorgeous drink into a pretty glass.
4.9 stars (7 ratings)
prep: 5 minutes
total: 5 minutes
servings: 2 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Empress Gin
  • 2 ounces lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce egg white
  • Ice (for shaking)
  • Dried lavender (as garnish)

Instructions

  • Put the Empress gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake vigorously until a white foam appears.
  • Add a handful of ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again.
  • Strain into glasses.
  • Use a spoon to scrape any remaining foam in the shaker to the top of each cocktail.
  • Garnish with dried lavender.

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Notes

• As you will have noticed, Empress gin is a beautiful indigo blue color. This is because it’s made from the blossom of the butterfly pea plant. Despite its vibrant color it isn’t violet or floral in its flavor profile.
• Empress gin is also known as color-changing gin. When an acidic ingredient is added, such as the lemon juice, the gin changes color from purple to pink!
• Making simple syrup is incredibly easy, all you need to do is add equal parts water and sugar to a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Leave to cool before adding to your cocktails. Homemade simple syrup will last several weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
• The foam from this cocktail comes from the egg white, however if you’re not comfortable consuming raw egg you can use the same amount of aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or leave it out. If you do leave it out you can also skip the dry shake (first shake without ice).
• This cocktail is best served strained without ice.
• Please note serving sizes are approximate and the amount of cocktails produced will vary depending on the size of your glassware.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gSodium: 34mgSugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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4.86 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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