Bottle Service: Empress 1908 Gin

This all-natural gin, inspired by the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, transforms from indigo to baby pink with the addition of tonic water. Handcrafted by Victoria Distillers in B.C., Empress 1908 is now an award-winning gin.

We've long been convinced of gin's magical properties. Now, Empress 1908 Gin is taking things one step further with their colour-changing spirit. Distilled in Victoria, B.C., Empress 1908 is infused with butterfly pea blossom which gives the gin its distinctive indigo hue. If that weren't striking enough, add citrus fruit or tonic and watch as the gin transforms into a beautiful shade of light pink before your very eyes.

The gin is inspired by one of Victoria's oldest and most famous landmarks, the Empress Hotel, which faces the inner harbour. The hotel became known for its house tea; a blend of imported leaves that distinguished visitors from around the globe, including Winston Churchill, came to sample. Empress 1908 Gin, made by Victoria Distillers and named after the year the famed hotel opened, combines eight organic botanicals; juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark and the Fairmont Empress tea blend.

But the allure of the gin isn't all witchcraft and trickery. The gin's chameleon-like quality is just a pleasant characteristic of this premium product, as opposed to the Instagram-fuelled gimmickry seen elsewhere on the food and drink market. Empress 1908, which sips like a London Dry with a floral aftertaste, has deservedly won several accolades, including Best Alcohol Drink at the World Beverage Innovation Awards.

This has no doubt bolstered the craft spirit's distribution expansion across Canada and the U.S. If you haven't seen the blue beverage in your LCBO stores yet, hold tight – more bottles will be rolling out across Ontario in the coming weeks.