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New Ideas for Valentine’s Cocktails


February 9, 2023 – With Cupid’s approval, we’re introducing two fresh ideas for Valentine’s Day celebrations:  Empress 1908 Gin and ready to pour Via Carota Craft Cocktails.  Get ready to fall in love!

Empress 1908 bottle

Empress 1908 Gin

Empress 1908 Gin comes to us from the island of Victoria, just a ferry ride off the coast of British Columbia.  It was inspired by the famed High Tea served at the magnificent Fairmont Empress Hotel.  Since 1908, the Empress has hosted royalty, dignitaries from around the world and tourists who appreciate elegance and charm.  Their High Tea is unmatched and includes a proprietary blend of black tea that is used in the gin along with botanicals and butterfly pea blossom.   The latter is used in another of the hotel’s bespoke tea blends.  In the gin, butterfly pea blossom is used to balance the traditional citrus notes of gin with a warm herbal earthiness, and gives the gin its natural indigo color.

Cocktails made with Empress 1908 Gin not only taste wonderful but also are romantic and beautiful to contemplate.  Depending on the mixes, they vary from rich indigo to pale pink or even red.  Below are three recipes.  More recipes are available here Empress 1908 Gin MSRP $39 can be ordered via Drizly. You can also check local retailers here. Don’t be put off by the Canadian addresses.  Just fill in your zip code and choose distance e.g. 10 km.

Please scroll to down for three Empress 1908 Gin recipes.

Via Carota Craft Cocktails

Elevate your at-home cocktail experience with pre-mixed cocktails created by Via Carota, the West Village restaurant founded by James Beard Award-winning chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi.  The restaurant has won acclaim for its food and drinks served in a setting of relaxed elegance by New Yorkers and travelers from around the world.

The line of pre-mixed cocktails was launched February 1 so this is a truly new experience now available to lovers of fine cocktails across the country.  It comprises two cocktails from the Negroni family – Classic Negroni and White Negroni;  two Bourbon-based cocktail family —  Old Fashioned and Signature Manhattan;  two Martini family – Espresso Martini and Signature Martini.  Each stylish bottle holds four pours.


When the mood or the occasion calls for a well made, festive cocktail Via Carota’s Craft Cocktails are the perfect match.  Serving an elegant cocktail has never been easier or more rewarding.  What could be better than starting this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration with the magic and warmth of a sophisticated cocktail of the highest quality? 

Prices: Each 375 ml bottle is $39 on and check out the sets of two bottles of each cocktail family plus two glasses for $99.  Product is available in all states except Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah.

La Vie en Rose

La Vie En Rose

The La Vie En Rose is a signature cocktail for this Valentine’s Day with rose water being a beautiful and delicious main ingredient!

  • 1.5 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 3-4 cardamom pods 
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp simple syrup
  • Juice of half of a lemon 
  • Sparkling water 

Method: Coat glass rim with lemon juice, and dip in cardamom sugar. Add crushed cardamom pods and Empress 1908 Gin. Let sit for 5-10 min to let the flavors infuse. Add rose water, simply syrup, and lemon juice, and mix. Add ice, and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with dried rose petals. 

Mint To Be

Mint To Be

Refreshing mint, soft floral elderflower, bright white cranberry and a splash of bubbly soda makes the perfect cocktail to sip with loved ones! If you’re feeling extra sweet, garnish with your favorite love note candy. 

  • 1.5 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • 1 oz white cranberry juice
  • ¼ oz elderflower liqueur 
  • ¼ oz lemon juice
  • Soda water (to top) 
  • Mint leaves

Method: Shake all ingredients but soda water on ice, including mint. Strain into a chilled glass. Top with soda and garnish with mint leaves. 

Sparkling Cherry

Sparkling Cherry

Raise your glass to someone special with this tasty and romantic recipe. 

  • 1 ½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ½ oz cherry juice
  • 2 drops rose bitters or rose water
  • 5 oz rosé sparkling wine
  • Cherry candy hearts

Method: Place cherry candy hearts on a plate lined with parchment paper and set in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen. Then, place the frozen cherry hearts into a serving glass acting as ice cubes to chill the drink. Add the Cherry juice, Rose Bitters, and Empress 1908 Gin into a glass, mixing to combine. Pour over the chilled candy hearts, then top with rosé sparkling wine before serving!