The Frosted Cranberry Empress Gin Cocktail is a holiday cocktail to impress anyone. For real, I’ve paid way too much for cocktails at expensive restaurants and glitzy bars, but I’d pay up for this one. It looks amazing but tastes like perfection in a glass!
So…what makes this holiday gin cocktail so great?
Nothing particularly exotic, but the balance of flavors is perfect. You’ve heard the phrase, “You eat first with your eyes,” right? Well, you drink with your eyes first as well. Empress 1908 Gin is breathtakingly beautiful in the bottle, but when you mix it with different things, the colors come alive.
Let’s get into this cocktail creation and explain the beauty, shall we?
The Inspiration Behind the Frosted Cranberry Gin Cocktail
So, what is this most similar to in terms of existing or classic gin cocktails? Think of a riff on a Gin Sour, which typically includes gin, lemon or lime juice, simple syrup and often with an egg white to get that froth on top.
The difference between a traditional sour and our Frosted Cranberry Empress Gin Cocktail is flavor enhancement with some special ingredients, and the amazing Empress Gin that is unique in flavor, color and aroma.
What is in the Frosted Cranberry Gin Cocktail
Like a gin sour, the Frosted Cranberry Gin Cocktail has Empress 1908 Gin, of course, lemon juice, Cranberry Spice Simple Syrup (recipe below), Benedictine (orange liqueur), cranberry bitters, and an egg white.
For this drink, we wanted to elevate a traditional sour in a few ways with some seasonal flavors making it the perfect drink for the holiday season! Let’s break down each of the parts…
Empress 1908 Gin
The most important ingredient is, of course, Empress 1908 Gin, a Canadian hand-crafted spirit from Victoria Distillers in British Columbia. Firstly, Empress makes the color of the cocktail pop and makes your mouth water before even taking a sip.
More importantly, Empress has impeccable botanicals for this particular cocktail (and many other gin drinks as well).
In this concoction, your tastebuds constantly focus and refocus on what you are tasting – and THAT’S what makes a cocktail special. Once you actually make this cocktail, you’ll understand!
Check out one of our other Empress 1908 Gin Creations – the Empress Maid of Honor – if you love this gin as much as we do! Additionally, click HERE to discover some of Empress 1908 Gin’s signature cocktails and visit Find your Empress to find a retailer who carries this amazing gin!
Lemon juice and Bénédictine (an orange liqueur) are added for a balancing act that really works well in this cocktail. The sweet, but fairly high in alcohol percentage, Bénédictine melds with the sour but pleasant lemon juice to really bring the drink together.
There are several orange liqueurs you can use, so find what you like, but we experimented quite a bit and found that Bénédictine is the best option for this drink. Personal preference should prevail here. But fresh lemon juice is not optional…please don’t use bottled lemon juice unless you are stranded somewhere!!!
The holiday part of this cocktail is the simple syrup and the use of bitters. The use of cranberry bitters in this drink are an absolute must and will be a winner for all parties. Also you can use them to create a beautiful design on top of the froth if you feel fancy.
We built our simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar, cranberries, allspice and cloves. We can’t think of the holiday season without cranberries, so they had to go in this syrup. This syrup enhances the best of cranberries and has a hint of classic holiday spice with the allspice and cloves.
Cranberry Spice Simple Syrup Recipe
The Cranberry Spice simple syrup is super easy to make at home by following these instructions:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 10 cranberries
- 5 cloves
- 5 allspice berries
- Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce to a simmer and heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Allow syrup to cool complete before using in your cocktails.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Let’s talk about egg whites. I’ve had drinks at bars (nice fancy ones and dingy crap ones alike) that had drinks with egg whites in them. I, for one, have no issue at all with this addition to a cocktail. If the eggs are fresh, the “head” on a cocktail can be stunning, delicious and a massive addition to the recipe.
You can certainly use aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans) but it will, of course, be different from the real thing. Hey, if you are vegan, or are freaked out by raw eggs, then go for aquafaba. If not, please use fresh egg whites and you’ll be a happy person…just saying.
Putting it all together!
The last thing I will say about this special Frosted Cranberry Empress Gin Cocktail is that technique is important.
To make this drink, you will add all ingredients to shaker for thirty seconds of dry (NO ICE) and vigorous shaking. This is followed by 30 seconds of vigorous shaking with ice. This will produce the frothy and gorgeous cocktail that we have created. Don’t skip this step!
Next, we recommend straining the cocktail into a coup glass like the ones in the photos.
Enjoy, and let us know what you think! Happy holidays!!!!
If you give this cranberry gin cocktail a try, leave us a comment and rate the recipe below! If you make this, please share your beautiful creations on Instagram and tag us @cooking_with_wine!