Royal Cocktails

By / Wine + Drinks / April 28th, 2011 / Like

The impending royal nuptials may or may not have you captivated, but given that any excuse for a cocktail is a good excuse, the event can be lauded for ushering in four new gin-based drinks.

The mastermind (or master mixologist) who came up with the recipes is Angus Winchester, whose phenomenal grasp of the heart and the heritage of spirits and cocktails is respected by bartending gurus, international media and even the British Royal Family. Part of a highly select group of English bartenders, Winchester is called to the palace to shake and serve for Royal Family-hosted events.  The Winchester family’s association to the Monarchy extends beyond the bar too.

“I see myself as a sort of big game hunter on a cocktail safari around the word,” Winchester told Tidings, admitting that he “lives nowhere” since he is traveling constantly

Winchester’s spirit expertise is dominated by the House of Tanqueray for whom he acts as Global Ambassador (and Gin Genius).  An “Ambassador at Large” for the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans as well as Chanticleer, Winchester was a judge and presenter at the 2008, ‘09, ‘10 Tales of the Cocktail and now heads up the Seminar Selection Committee that effectively sets the agenda for Global Bartending and has presented at bar shows around the globe from Copenhagen to Sydney.

“Despite the fact that Kate will be the oldest royal bride when she walks down the aisle at 29 years old, the vibrant energy and youthful glow she shares with Prince William has given Canadians a renewed interest in the monarchy, inspiring thousands to travel to London and millions to watch from home,” said Cian Horrobin from the Monarchist League of Canada.  “Only Angus Winchester, who has been a mixologist for the royal family could create a royal wedding cocktail epic enough to match this future King and Queen.”

In fact, Winchester created four royal wedding cocktails for Canadians to toast the royal couple, drawing inspiration from the classic Victorian wedding adage ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.’ Recognizing the royal family’s affinity for gin, Winchester chose Tanqueray Gin as the featured wedding spirit due to its strong royal heritage that dates back to the 1700s, when the Tanqueray family received royal recognition by King George II as royal family goldsmiths.  In 1925, Tanqueray received a royal warrant designation by King George V, and the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1985, the highest official award for businesses in the United Kingdom.

“Obviously we wanted to make drinks that were simple to make so you could do them at home, or ask for them at a bar as well,” Winchester pointed out.

He mixed these four cocktails for Tidings staff and you can rest assured that these are very much “adult” drinks that showed off the versatility of gin as a cocktail base. All were very well balanced and, somewhat surprisingly, none of them had an overtly “gin heavy” flavour. So even if you think gin might not be your thing (or royal weddings, for that matter), these new creations are worth breaking out your shaker for.

Something Old    

This classic drink, documented in the famed Savoy cocktail book, embodies everything we love about Kate:  it is fresh and lively with an understated elegance, and the grenadine twist makes it a true “blushing bride”.

The Blushing Bride
3/4 oz. Tanqueray Dry Gin
3/4 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz Orange juice
1/2 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Grenadine

Shake all very hard and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Flamed Orange Zest.

Something New

An original cocktail hand-crafted for Prince William and Kate, this drink is served in a long glass to represent the couples’ long life together, featuring the King of Fruit, the pineapple – so termed for its crown of leaves.

The Newlyweds
1.5 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
3 chunks fresh pineapple
1 small slice fresh ginger

Muddle fruit and add remaining ingredients, except the soda. Shake hard and strain into tall ice filled glass. Add fizz and garnish with pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge.

Something Borrowed

“Borrowed” from world-renowned female mixologist, Audrey Saunders, this cocktail is intended to demonstrate equality in marriage featuring equal part ingredients with a touch of spice (important in all good marriages).

Yin and Yang
3/4 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Dash Orange Bitters

Stir all together and strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with orange twist.

Something Blue

In honour of the sentimental sapphire engagement ring worn by the much beloved late Princess Diana, this eye-catching drink sparkles when it forms a brilliant blue ring on the bottom of the glass, also predicting blue skies ahead for the happy couple.

Colour Me Royal
3/4 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon Blue Curacao

Shake all ingredients (except Blue Curacao) hard and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Slowly pour Blue Curacao down the inside of the glass to lie at the bottom.


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