Have you been introduced to Empress Gin? If so, you won’t be surprised to hear that this royal spirit has quickly become a staple behind my bar. Its deep color and complex flavor make it a beautiful addition to any cocktail, including today’s recipe, The Purple Crown. My home in the Seattle area is just a short drive from Victoria, British Columbia, where Empress micro-distills its gin in small copper-pot stills.
And—because many phenomenal wineries also hail from our region—I thought, why not pair the herbaceous taste of Empress Gin with a delicately sweet, local Chardonnay? Mix in a touch of butterfly pea flower-infused syrup and Cointreau, and you’ve got an instant classic: The Purple Crown. This colorful gin cocktail recipe is somewhere between a Kir and a French 75. We took pieces of both recipes and came up with something new and just as delicious.
Step 1: Add butterfly pea syrup and Cointreau liqueur to a cocktail glass and top with ice.
Instructions for tea:
Step 2: Pour in white wine.
The chardonnay I chose to pair alongside Empress Gin is from one of my favorite local wineries– DeLille Cellars. Located just out of Seattle in Woodinville, WA– a short drive out of the city.
Why layer this cocktail? The most typical reason for layering a drink is purely for aesthetic reasons rather than taste. In the case of the Purple Crown– I chose to layer the tea at the bottom and float the gin on top to truly showcase the beautiful purple hue that’s so iconic to Empress Gin.
Step 3: Then, using a bar spoon, float Empress Gin on top.
Pro Tip: Flip your bar spoon over and used the rounded side to help easily float the gin over the top of your cocktail.
Step 4: Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
In a traditional Kir, you would top a measure of crème de cassis with white wine. In a traditional French 75, you’ll find gin, simple syrup, sparkling wine, and lemon juice. The Purple Crown is a bit of a mash-up between the two. And it works well! The sweet, floral, and citrus flavors will leave you feeling like royalty. So go ahead, mix one of these fabulous gin cocktails up, and let us know what you think!