Say Cheers to an Epic Season with a TCU Purple Gin Cocktail

The truth about this cocktail? We originally named it “Purple Reign” with hopes that our TCU Horned Frogs would beat the Georgia Bulldogs at the 2023 College Football Playoffs National Championship Game. As we’ll be reminded all week, the Frogs lost, and we’re waking up sad and disappointed.

So, let’s call this drink what it is: a purple gin cocktail. We can choose to drink away our sorrows (no judgement here, friends) or we can say cheers to an epic season. I’m choosing cheers.

This TCU Purple Gin Cocktail is made with Empress 1908, an all-natural, botanical-based gin that gets its vivid color from butterfly pea blossom. 

The butterfly pea flower is used to make teas and other brightly colored products. It’s also sold in powder form. Similarly to the powder, Empress 1908 gin appears indigo blue in the bottle and transforms into gorgeous shades of pink, purple and blue depending on how you mix it.

For this easy purple gin cocktail, we used La Croix Key Lime sparkling water but you can use your favorite brand and flavor of sparkling water. We also tried it with Sprite Zero, which was delicious. If you’d like to try a purple gin and tonic, please note that the tonic water and sugar-free tonic water turned this drink more of a fuchsia color. It was beautiful, but we wanted a deeper purple color and a squeeze of lime did the trick. Funny how that worked. 

My husband, David, and I had a mini test lab set up in our kitchen to get the colors just right for you to make at home. Better yet, put this TCU Purple Gin Cocktail and the fan favorite TCU Riff Ram-bler in your back pocket for fall football and tailgate season.

Forever, Go Frogs!

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TCU Purple Gin Cocktail

A simple blend of Empress 1908 gin, sparkling water and a spritz of lime and you’ve got this bright purple gin cocktail. Easy to make at home or your next tailgate. Cheers!

  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x


Units Scale


  1. Add ice to a lowball glass. Pour the gin directly over the ice. Top with sparkling water and mix. Squeeze a wedge of fresh lime.
  2. Serve and enjoy!


  • If you use sugar-free tonic water or regular tonic water, be sure to add the squeeze of lime to achieve the bright purple color.
  • This drink can also be made with Sprite or Sprite Zero.
  • Author: Cortney Sparkman
  • Prep Time: 5 mins.
  • Cook Time: 0 mins.
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: By hand
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gin cocktail, purple cocktail, purple gin cocktail, Empress 1908

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