If you browse instagram and cocktail blogs then maybe you have seen some colorful gin cocktails using Empress gin. I knew when I first saw this beautiful purple gin that I had to experiment with it. This Empress gin strawberry basil smash has all of the elements that make a cocktail like this so colorful and tasty.
Please note that some of the links on this blog are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through them. However, I only promote products and services that I trust and believe in. All opinions expressed here are my own and not influenced by the affiliate relationship.
What makes Empress gin change colors?
Empress gin has butterfly pea blossoms added late in the distillation process which gives it its famous indigo color.
Butterfly pea flowers react with acidic ingredients like like lemon juice to create a color changing effect. It can turn a like violet, pink or can be used to create a gradient effect.
What’s a smash cocktail?
There are many different types of smash cocktails. They often include a spirit like gin or vodka and different fruits or herbs. They’re easy to make and create with ingredients that you have available.
This smash recipe combines strawberries, basil and fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice helps to create the gradient effect when combined with the gin.
Can you use other type of gin for this strawberry basil smash?
If you can’t find Empress gin or don’t have it available at home and want to make this cocktail, don’t worry! You can use any gin you like, of course the flavor may vary slightly. You won’t get the same color changing effect with another gin but it will still taste light and refreshing.
If you have butterfly pea flower tea then you may be able to recreate the effect. And if you prefer another spirit you could use that in the cocktail along with the butterfly pea flower tea or powder to create a similar cocktail. You can also find a recipe for a butterfly pea tea syrup in my free syrup recipe e-book.
Obviously the easiest way to get the color changing effect in this cocktail is to use Empress gin. (Nope this isn’t an ad, I just really like their gin!).
What bar tools do I need?
For any smash cocktail I recommend a muddler. If you don’t have a muddler you can use the back of a wooden spoon but it may stain the wood.
Empress Gin Strawberry Basil Smash Recipe
Empress Gin Strawberry Basil Smash
- 1.5 oz Empress Gin
- 2 oz Lemon juice
- .5 oz Simple syrup
- 2 Strawberries Halved
- 3 Basil leaves Plus more for garnish
Looking for more cocktails with gin and fresh strawberries? Try this Strawberry and Lillet Martini.