Empress 1908 Tea Cocktail

The Fairmont Empress

There are some ladies that need no introduction, and Victoria’s grandest dame of all – the Fairmont Empress– is certainly one.  Just stepping into the grand lobby sweeps you into a bygone era.  But don’t be mistaken – this grandeur isn’t limited to the haute and mighty.  No – this dame has some young blood in her veins – and the freshness is evident in the queued up beverage program.  Phillips Lager on tap and Tantalus Riesling by the glass in the Bengal?   Thank you madam!

Something intrinsically and uniquely Empress?  Order thyself the Empress 1908.  Created to commemorate the centenary of tea service at the property (that’s right – 100 years and counting), this special cocktail infuses vodka with Empress Blend tea, mixes it with fresh lemon and simple syrup and tops with a cloud of frothy egg whites.  This is your afternoon cuppa-come-cocktail.  Exotically spicy, with delicate floral and heady malt notes, the aroma wafts out of the glass to politely greet you, and the palate is lifted by sweet, bright lemon.  At once coolly refreshing, soulfully satisfying and oh so sophisticated – I could take tea time every day.  Oh – and it’s served with the cutest wee tea scone.  If you’re at the Bengal during the day, watch for modest and skilled Bartender Leonard Lim behind the bar.  Len has worked at the Empress for 40 years – !!

Cheers to you Len!

One of the most amazing spaces in summertime Victoria – the Veranda – opens at the Empress on April 30th. This outdoor slice runs along the front and centre of the hotel – overlooking the lawn, the Causeway and the Inner Harbour beyond.  With seating for 59, seats here are snapped up quickly. Wide chairs are decked out with plush cushions, warming heaters hang from above and big cozy blankets are at the ready if needed.  This is the ideal place to sit on a summer eve and watch the entire Victoria world pass by in front of you.  All while toasting the Grand Dame with your Empress 1908, naturally.

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*All BC residents qualify for a 20% discount and special rates and events with a Friend of the Empress Card.  See www.friendsoftheempress.ca.

Empress 1908 Tea Cocktail

recipe and photo courtesy of the Fairmont Empress

• 1 1/2 oz Empress Tea Infused Vodka (see recipe)

• 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

• 3/4 oz simple syrup

• 3/4 oz pasteurized egg white

• Garnish: super fine sugar 1/2 rim

• lemon disk  – squeezed

• mini scone

To make:

1. In a pint mixing glass measure in spirits and mixers.

2. Cap and shake vigorously for 10 seconds – HARD shake.

3. Strain into a cocktail glass.

4. Squeeze the lemon disk over the top of the drink and discard it.

5. Place drink on a B&B plate with doily.

6. Place mini scone on plate as garnish.

Glass: cocktail glass

Empress Tea Infused Vodka

• bottle (1.4 liter) vodka (The Empress Hotel uses Finlandia)

• 4 Empress Blend Tea Bags

Pour out 1/2 cup of the vodka into a glass and reserve. Fold tea bags being careful not to tea and add to the bottle of vodka. Add the reserved vodka back into the bottle. Cap and shake. Infuse for 4 hours before use.

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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