The royal wedding 2: Something borrowed, something blue

Royal wedding cocktails at Park Plaza
We’ve come across so many ideas from bars and drinks companies for royal wedding-themed cocktails, that one blog posting wasn’t enough. After the post earlier this week, here are a few more that bartenders have been coming up with to commemorate Friday’s big day – with many inspired by the idea of “blue blood” and the bride’s old rhyme of having “something blue” for good luck.

At The Basement bar in Edinburgh, mixologist and bar manager Simon Illingworth has created the True Blue, mixing Mount Gay Extra Old Rum with calvados, Pedro Ximenez sherry, blueberries, apple slices and ginger, strained into a Martini glass and garnished with chocolate shavings.

Blue Blood champagne cocktail at Zenna
Something blue has also been created at Zenna in Soho, London, by bar manager Dan Thomson. His Blue Blood cocktail contains Bombay Sapphire shaken with blue curaçao and vanilla sugar to create “a smooth drink fit for royalty”. And this week the champagne cocktail version of the Blue Blood has an extra ingredient: each one will contain a replica Kate Middleton royal engagement ring and other replica diamond rings – and one of them will be a real diamond ring worth over £1,000.

A special royal wedding cocktail list (pictured above) is available at Park Plaza’s six London hotels until May 16, inspired by the bride’s lucky rhyme. Something old is the Old Passioned, made with fresh passion juice, passion fruit vodka and a dash of cranberry, while something new is Wedded Fizz, combining Pimm’s No 1 and champagne, garnished with strawberry, mint and blackberry. Something borrowed is the Best Man-hattan, shaking up Maker’s Mark, Martini Dry and Martini Rosso, garnished with a classic cocktail cherry. Something blue is the Blue Moon, which mixes blue curaçao with gin and fresh lemon juice, topped with soda.

Wedding March Cocktail
As reported in the last post, drinks company Love Drinks has come up with a number of cocktails for its brands inspired by classic cocktails, including the Kate Cocktail and the William Cocktail. Another is The Wedding March Cocktail, which is something between a Daiquiri and a Sour, offering a zesty and lightly fizzing drink to toast the royal couple:

The Wedding March Cocktail
45ml Barceló Gran Añejo rum
20ml Fresh lime juice
1 egg white
1 tsp sugar
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lime peel.

Rob Hall makes Kiss Me Kate
At the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rooftop bar in Stratford-upon-Avon, bar manager Rob Hall has borrowed from Shakespeare for the name of his royal cocktail. The Kiss Me Kate is taken from a line in The Taming of the Shrew, quietly ignoring the cat-and-dog fighting of Shakespeare’s warring couple. Using mainly English ingredients, it combines rhubarb puree, calvados and sparkling rosé Fitzrovia from the Ridgeview vineyard in Ditchling, East Sussex.

At the Bingham Bar at the Bingham hotel in Richmond, head bartender Ciprian Lazar has created the special Royal Connection cocktail menu. The drinks include the Sapphire Ring, which is a Martini-style cocktail with Sipsmith gin, violet liqueur and lemon, and the New Monarchy, made with calvados, cinnamon sugar, mint, apple juice and lemon juice. His recipe for a Rhubarb Royale is as follows:

Rhubarb Royale
The Rhubarb Royale
30ml Vodka (preferably Konik’s Tail)
12.5ml Velvet Falernum
2 20cm sticks of raw rhubarb
Dash of lemon juice
Rub one stick of rhubarb round the rim of a martini glass and dip the rim in sugar crystals. Muddle the second piece of rhubarb and shake with vodka, Velvet Falernum, lemon juice and cubed ice. Strain into the martini glass and top up with champagne without stirring. Place the first stick of rhubarb on the rim as garnish.

The Savoy hotel has a long tradition of creating cocktails for royal weddings, so Daniel Baernreuther, manager of the American Bar, created a celebratory cocktail, the Royal Tribute, for William and Kate. It contains Bombay Sapphire gin because it is “a quintessentially British spirit” and the bottle recalls the sapphire of the bride’s engagement ring:

The Savoy's Royal Tribute
The Royal Tribute
20ml Bombay Sapphire
20ml Martini Rosso
5ml gomme
2.5ml Maraschino
2.5ml Green Chartreuse
Add all ingredients except the champagne into a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir until mixed. Double strain into a chilled coupette glass and top up with ice-cold champagne. Garnish with an orange twist on the rim. At the Savoy, the coupette has a bespoke Bombay Sapphire engraving which is available to buy as a royal souvenir in The Savoy Hotel’s gift shop alongside a Royal Tribute cocktail card.

At Belgian restaurant Café Luc in Marylebone, London, the drink is simpler but the rewards are greater. Anyone who orders a £12.80 glass of Louis Roederer champagne over the royal wedding weekend of April 27 to 30 will have a chance to win a watch worth over £9,000 supplied by luxury jeweller Piaget. Diners will be presented with a jewellery box containing a barcode which they take to the jeweller’s New Bond Street store where it will be scanned to find out if it is a winner. Second prize is a necklace worth £3,250.

If you fancy something a little bit more down to earth, look out in pubs for limited-edition ale Better Half which has been launched on cask by Wiltshire brewer Wadworth to honour the royal couple. According to the brewer, the mid-strength beer at four per cent ABV is ideal for weekend-long celebrations and combines pale ale malt with a light touch of crystal malt to give a hoppy tang.

At Young’s pubs, the limited-edition ale until May 2 is the Prince of Ales. It is described as “full-bodied – unlike our svelte blushing bride” – and “the perfect marriage of flavours” with a clean bitter taste balanced with sweet malty fruity notes and a dry-hop aroma. This Friday until 2pm, Young’s pubs will be selling it for just £2 a pint.

From the Windsor and Eton Brewery comes a new beer called Windsor Knot – a suitable tribute for a brewery close to both Windsor Castle and the groom’s school. It is made from a blend of the English hop, Sovereign, which was developed for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, with the New Zealand hop, Nelson Sauvin – chosen to represent the far ends of the Commonwealth. With an ABV of four per cent, the pale ale is available in bottles and on tap in April and May. “A beer coming from Royal Windsor is the most authentic royal wedding beer you can have,” says brewery director Will Calvert.

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