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Empress 1908 Gin ($40): Empress 1908 Gin comes from British Columbia. It’s immediately striking due to its all natural vivid blue color. That color comes from the infusion of the Butterfly Pea Blossom. It’s hand crafted and eight botanicals are utilized. When mixed with other ingredients it changes color; the addition of citrus turns it a soft pink. While the color is fun and somewhat fascinating, the flavors and aromas are what really matter. A triumvirate of citrus, floral and herbal aromas in descending amounts light up the fresh and inviting nose. Sipped neat the flavors are vibrant and alive in stunning display of freshness. Zippy acid and white pepper notes join the continuing citrus and herbal notes through the palate and finish. This is a really solid offering that toes the line between traditional flavors and far more freshness and vigor than the Gins most of us grew up around.
Of course when I think of Gin it’s largely as a cocktail ingredient. So I decided to use Empress 1908 to make one of my favorite new summertime drinks, Friends.75. Dry Creek Valley’s Pedroncelli Winery is celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. As part of that celebration they’ve come up with this cocktail that utilizes their friends.white. This well priced wine ($13) is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. It along with the Gin and other ingredients creates a delicious and incredibly refreshing cocktail. Mix up a pitcher full for your next party.


4 Parts Pedroncelli Friends.White (chilled)
1 Part Empress 1908 Gin
¾ Part St. Germain
Splash of Club Soda
Twist of Lemon
Sprig of mint

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour the wine and Gin over it. Fill with Club Soda. Add the lemon twist and mint. Stir and enjoy.

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