The Lady Bridgerton: an Empress Gin Cocktail

The Lady Bridgerton is an Empress gin cocktail designed, taking a liberty or two, to celebrate the success of the Bridgerton series. It’s a an Empress gin sour made with a classic sour formula using Empress 1908 gin, lemon juice, and a homemade Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup.

Sip this Empress Gin cocktail neat while watching a marathon session of Bridgerton, the Netflix series based off of the series of historical romance novels written by my friend Julia Quinn. Or serve it on the rocks as a cooling cocktail in the hottest heat of summer.

a purple cocktail on a tray with a purple napkin and several lavender sprigs
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I developed this purple Empress gin cocktail to refer back to the color and floral flavors in this Earl Grey lavender cake. That cake remains one of the most popular recipes on the blog.


The name is a play off of the Earl Grey tea in the cocktail, although admittedly the tea post-dates the Regency period (officially 1811 to 1820) when Bridgerton is set. If you love Earl Grey and other teas, you should also try my Earl Grey scones or green tea saketini.

The other ingredients in this Bridgerton cocktail (gin, lavender, and lemon) were all widely available during the time.

  • Gin, in particular, has a fascinating history in the UK in the 1700s. Gin production was initially encouraged to dissuade the consumption of French brandy. But it seems that there was a bit too much encouragement, resulting in the so-called Gin Craze and repeated attempts at legislation to control the production and consumption of gin.
  • Despite the name, lavender (i.e. English lavender) is not native to Britain but has been cultivated there for centuries.
  • Lemons have also been imported and available in Britain for over 500 years.

About Empress 1908 gin

Empress 1908 gin is a botanical gin made with juniper, rose, coriander, grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon bark, and butterfly pea flowers. You can turn any cocktail blue or purple by using butterfly pea flower powder.

If you love Empress gin, try other Empress gin cocktails like my Lavender Gimlet, Rose Syrup French 75, or Elderflower Collins.

Tip from the wise quacker: the purple color of Empress gin is due to pigments in the butterfly pea flowers called anthocyanins. When you lower the pH with an acid like the citric acid in lemon juice, the pigment changes to pink. If you raise the pH to make it more basic, it turns blue.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Serve this sour over ice. Shake in your shaker and pour the cocktail over a large ice cube in a lowball glass.
  • If you love Earl Grey tea, make Earl Grey-infused gin. Add an Earl Grey tea bag or free tea in a teaball to the gin. Start out with just 20 to 30 minutes. And be sure to remove the tea bag before you add the gin to the cocktail shaker!
  • If you happen to already have lavender simple syrup in your refrigerator, you can make this drink by brewing a strong cup of Earl Grey tea and chilling a small amount. Add 1 ounce lavender simple syrup and a half ounce (1 tablespoon) of cold Earl Grey tea to the cocktail shaker.

Recipe tips and tricks

The Lady Bridgerton is an Empress gin sour, made a little bit sweeter than the classic sour proportions. The deep purple color is just a beautiful bonus from the Empress 1908 gin.

The Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup is easy to make with Earl Grey tea and culinary lavender. You can read more about making this and other simple syrup recipes.

To make the cocktail, combine the Empress gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and cooled simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with a half cup of ice. Shake vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds, and double strain into a chilled coupe.

Make it a mocktail

You can transform most cocktails, especially sours, into non alcoholic beverages. To make this Empress gin cocktail a mocktail, I added juniper berries and butterfly pea flower powder to the simple syrup. Juniper is the primary flavor in gin, and the butterfly pea flower powder will give you a purple gin mocktail.

To make this Empress gin mocktail something other than a sweetened lemonade, I’ve added tonic water. Tonic water also slightly post-dates the Regency period, but the touch of bitterness gives this Empress mocktail the depth that you expect from an adult beverage.

First, make a simple syrup with one half-cup of water, one half-cup of sugar, a tablespoon of juniper berries and culinary lavender, teaspoon of butterfly pea flower powder, and an Earl Grey tea bag. Combine one ounce of the cooled syrup with one ounce of lemon juice. Shake and add to a highball glass with crushed ice. Top with tonic water and garnish with a lemon slice.

purple cocktail in highball glass garnished with lemon, surrounded by lavender.

Other Bridgerton cocktails

Try a Queen Charlotte cocktail. It’s a red wine cocktail often made with lemon-lime soda, but you can replace that with fresh juice and soda water.

Combine 2 ounces red wine, 1 ounce grenadine, and 1 ounce lemon and lime juice in a shaker. Strain into a highball glass with ice, and top with club soda.

dark pink highball cocktail on a tray with a tiara.

Recipe FAQs

What is a botanical gin?

All gins are made with juniper. Some types of gins, like London dry gin, have specific definitions as to how they’re made and what botanicals can be used.

How long can I store the Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup?

Like all simple syrups, you can store the Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Love cocktails and want to explore more? Read all about classic cocktails and bartender basics or join this year’s 52 weeks of cocktails challenge!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


The Lady Bridgerton Empress Gin Cocktail

5 from 1 vote
Category: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 210kcal
The Lady Bridgerton is an Empress gIn sour cocktail made with Empress 1908 gin, lemon juice, and a lavender and Earl Grey simple syrup.
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Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon culinary lavender blossoms
  • 1 teabag Earl Grey tea caffeinated or decaffeinated

"The Lady Bridgerton" Empress Gin Cocktail

  • 2 ounce Empress 1908 gin
  • 1 ounce Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice


Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup

  • Add the water and granulated sugar to a small pot and heat over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved into solution, turn off the heat.
    ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water
  • Add the 1 tablespoon of lavender plus an Earl Grey tea bag or tea in a tea ball and steep for 30 minutes.
    1 tablespoon culinary lavender blossoms, 1 teabag Earl Grey tea
  • Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and let cool.

The Lady Bridgerton Empress Gin Cocktail

  • Add the gin, 1 ounce of the Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake, and double strain into a coupe or similar glass. Garnish with lavender sprigs or a slice of lemon.
    2 ounce Empress 1908 gin, ½ ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce Earl Grey and lavender simple syrup


You can make a purple gin cocktail even without Empress gin. Just infuse your gin with butterfly pea flowers or add butterfly pea flower powder.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

This Empress gin cocktail recipe was originally posted on June 18, 2021 in association with a sponsored Instagram post. It was most recently adapted on March 29, 2023.

Disclosure: I received two bottles of Empress 1908 gin and financial compensation to create an Instagram post and photo of an Empress gin cocktail in 2021. The naming of The Lady Bridgerton and all other content in this post are my own.

bottle and purple Empress gin cocktail on a mirrored tray with lavender sprigs.

You’re an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking. Get that inspiration here:


  1. Next time I would change up the earl grey and sugar to make it less sweet. We added club soda to cut the sweetness. The drink color was brown even though we used empress gin. It tastes really good.

  2. I LOVE THIS DRINK… and, thank you for reminding me not to drink it with my genitals, I was sorely tempted. SORELLLYYYYYYYYYYY……

    1. Lol. Thanks, so much, Paul. And thank your lovely wife for giving me the inspiration (even if she couldn’t bring back the Duke).

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