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Let them Eat Cake - and Drink Gin!

Publish Date: 11-May-2017

Victoria, BC Thursday, May 11, 2017

The renowned Fairmont Empress has a long history of British cocktail and pastry culture; from Winston Churchill drinking his gin in teapots in the hotel lounge during prohibition, to world renowned pastries gracing the plates of tea lovers for over one hundred years. And, in celebration of the $60 million restoration and June 2017 relaunch, the hotel is launching two new Empress branded products: Empress 1908 Gin and the Empress Torte.


Empress 1908 Gin
Victoria Distillers launched their first gin at the Fairmont Empress over a decade ago, and their distillers and hotel mixologists have crafted unique cocktails together ever since. Out of this relationship the transformative Empress 1908 Gin was born. Inspired by the iconic property and the rugged beauty of Vancouver Island, Empress 1908 Gin marries crystalline Canadian waters with eight, all-natural botanicals: juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark and the iconic Fairmont Empress Blend Tea. It is infused with the vibrantly tinted butterfly pea blossom, which imparts a vivid hue with a stunning secret to reveal: with the addition of citrus or tonic, the Gin is transformed from a breathtaking indigo to a soft pink. The Empress 1908 Gin is available in select Canadian liquor stores as of May 1st. US distribution will follow in June.


Empress Torte Developed by Executive Pastry Chef, AJ Thalakkat, the signature Empress Torte is a rich gluten free cake with a cassis centre, hazelnut meal and layers of chocolate ganache topped with a chocolate crown - a replica of the one worn by Queen Elizabeth II. Thalakkat traveled to the French chocolate lab Or Noir to taste and select beans reflective of the Victoria area. He then worked with Cacao Berry to craft two custom chocolates exclusive to Fairmont Empress: Aiyana, a First Nation's name for Eternal Blossom a 42% milk chocolate with wild honey and floral notes and Etenia, meaning rich, 71% rich dark chocolate with dark fruit and berry notes. These two exclusive chocolates are showcased in the Empress Torte. A true labour of love, the cake requires two days to make and can be ordered with 48 hours' notice, or enjoyed in the hotel's restaurants and lounge. Marie Antoinette would be thrilled to know the Empress Torte can also be taken "to go" in a beautiful traditional cake box designed to travel without refrigeration for up to four days....allowing everyone to eat cake. A video with the Executive Pastry Chef making the Empress Torte is here. To order, email or call: 250.389.2727.


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