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Special Effect

  • Author: Bull Garlington


This cocktail is just stupid good. You can make it ahead and pull it out of the freezer about an hour before you serve it. This recipe is for a group, but I’m not going to judge you if you drink it all, player.


  • 1 12-ounce can of natural pink lemonade concentrate
  • 1 12-ounce bag of frozen strawberries
  • 8 ounces of Empress 1908 gin
  • 1 can San Pellegrino Lemonata soda, or natural lemon-lime soda, if you’re a savage
  • 2 cups ice
  • Lemon or blood orange slices
  • Optional: mint leaves for garnish


Serve in coupe glasses or a Nick and Nora in a pinch.

Add everything except the gin to a blender and … blend.

GATHER YOUR GUESTS to observe this cool effect:

Scoop about a half a cup of the frozen slush into the center of a glass, then place a citrus wheel into it.

With your guests watching closely, pour a jigger of gin carefully into the space between the glass and the slush.

Empress 1908 is made with butterfly pea blossoms (an ingredient in the Empress Hotel’s famous tea, which is where the gin gets its name). It comes out of the bottle a stunning indigo blue (almost purple), but as soon as it touches citrus, it transforms into a bright pink.