Top 10 Coronation drinks with which to toast King Charles III
Dig out your bunting and get your Coronation quiche in the oven, as the big event is nearly upon us. Here are our favourite limited edition drinks that have been released especially for the occasion.
At 11am on Saturday 6 May the eyes of the world will be on Westminster Abbey, where Charles will be crowned King by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a ceremony full of processions, pomp and circumstance that marks the start of a three-day knees up to usher in the new monarch.
The streets around Buckingham Palace will be packed to the rafters with flag-waving well wishers, while 27 million people in the UK are expected to watch the spectacle on TV, and a further 11m will listen to the ceremony on the radio.
Around 20,000 people are expected to descend on Windsor Castle for the Coronation Concert, which will see Take That, Katie Perry and Lionel Ritchie take to the stage. King Charles will no doubt be enjoying the concert with a dram of his favourite tipple – Laphroaig 15 Year Old Scotch, which he likes to keep close.
Three in four Brits are expected to head to the pub at some point over the Coronation weekend to mark the milestone, with Heineken predicting that a record 36.1 million pints of beer will be poured over the Bank Holiday weekend, with pubs allowed to stay open until 1am from 5-7 May to celebrate the occasion.
Tesco is opening its first-ever pub – The King in the Castle in Farringdon – on 4-5 May to mark the event, and will be serving trifle-inspired Bellini cocktails.
Record numbers of bottles of English fizz are also expected to fly off the shelves in the UK as partygoers look to pop their cork on home-grown sparklers.
“We’re gearing up for an increase in English wines, and particularly English fizz to toast the Coronation, or simply celebrate an additional Bank Holiday,” Matthew Horsley, English wine buyer for The Wine Society, told db.
“I’m expecting our new Exhibition Blanc de Blancs 2018 from Sussex-based Ridgeview to prove popular with members, but also Camel Valley in Cornwall; the first English winery to hold a Royal Warrant, and our Bacchus 2021 is currently on offer down to £14 from £15.50 – a right royal bargain!”
Fergus Elias, head winemaker for Balfour Winery in Kent, is expecting to see copious amounts English sparkling wine enjoyed over the Coronation weekend.
“English Wine has come on light years in the last few decades. It’s now seen as a fantastic choice for special occasions and we expect to see thousands of glasses of our Kent-grown wines poured over the Bank Holiday weekend,” he said.
If you’re keen to support British brands, read on for our pick of the best tipples created especially for the Coronation.
Chapel Down Coronation Edition 2016 – £65 (Hedonism, Harvey Nichols)
Kent-based Chapel Down has released just 2,000 bottles of this limited edition sparkler from the celebrated 2016 vintage to mark the Coronation. Made from the classic trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from the winery’s finest parcels, the fizz has been aged on its lees for five-and-a-half years, leading to complex aromas of ripe apple, fresh red berries and toasted brioche rounded off by a generous finish. Profits from the sale of the sparkler will be donated to the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to supporting the Armed Forces.
Royal Windsor Pink Gin – £38 (Royal Collection Shop)
Gin and an English’s summer’s day go together like strawberries and cream, and we’re expecting to see lashings of the juniper-laced spirit imbibed over the Coronation weekend. We particularly love this sprightly pink number created by the Royal Collection Trust – a department of the Royal Household – to mark the crowning of King Charles. Made with raspberries grown at Windsor Castle, the gin is spiced with piquant pink peppercorns and warming cassia bark, while orange peel and rose petals add a subtle sweetness and the raspberries lend the gin a fruity finish and its vibrant pink hue. Enjoy in a Martini glass with pineapple juice and a raspberry garnish for a refreshing serve.
Balfour Winery Coronation Classic Cuvée – £23 (M&S, Ocado)
Another Kent sparkling stalwart – Balfour Winery – is also marking the Coronation with a special release, and has joined forces with M&S on a limited edition Coronation Cuvée at a wallet-friendly £23. Balfour’s head winemaker, Fergus Elias, sought to create a wine that captured the flavours of the English countryside while also being an ideal pairing for fish and chips, which he’s achieved through a compelling combination of baked apple, white pepper and thyme notes with a toasted brioche twist alongside zippy acidity and citrus flavours.
Sipsmith Coronation Box – £35 (Sipsmith)
Gin connoisseur Sipsmith has gone all out with a limited edition Sipping Society Coronation Box to mark Charles’ big day. Featuring a duo of gins fit for a king, the box contains Coronation Gin and Hot Honey Gin. The former is crafted from rosehip and cardamom, which are macerated overnight with chamomile and orange peel before resting in Laphroaig whisky casks in a hat tip to Charles’ favourite Scotch. The Hot Honey Gin, meanwhile, is made with honey harvested from the Eco-friendly Room2 Hotel located near to the London distillery.
Hattingley Valley Kings Cuvée – £85 (Hattingley Valley, Grape Britannia)
What could be more fitting as a Coronation fizz than the King’s Cuvée? The sparkler takes its name from King’s Farm on the Hattlingley Valley estate in Hampshire. In honour of King Charles, the winery has released a limited number of engraved bottles of its Kings Cuvée and Kings Rosé featuring a floral crown emblem and the date Charles is crowned. Made from a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, the rich and refreshing Kings Cuvée boasts vibrant citrus zest aromas layered with honey and nuts, brioche, vanilla and creamy oak, making it a great pairing for oysters or truffle-laced treats.
Pimm’s No.1 Coronation Cup – £16.50 (The Bar)
What can be more English than working your way through a jug of Pimm’s on a sunny afternoon? The popular gin-based fruit cup has released a limited edition Coronation Cup in honour of King Charles taking the throne. Made from a secret recipe, the gin-laced spirit is infused with fruity notes of bitter-sweet caramelised orange, fresh citrus and herbal flavours, offering an attractive balance of sweet and tangy flavours when mixed with lemonade. Originally blended by James Pimm as an aid to digesting oysters in 1840, Pimm’s went on to be sent to soldiers at the far edges of the Empire, was served at Queen Victoria’s lunches and made its debut at Wimbledon in 1971. We’ll drink to that…
Nyetimber Coronation Classic Cuvée – £39.50 (Nyetimber)
West Sussex winery Nyetimber in West Chiltington boasts its own royal connection, as the handsome estate was gifted by Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves when their marriage was dissolved in 1540. Staying true to its royal roots, the estate has released a limited edition bottling of its Classic Cuvée to mark the Coronation featuring graphic elements inspired by royal garments and uniforms. The multi-vintage blend is made from the classic combo of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, offering a fine balance of elegance and intensity. The pale gold fizz boasts notes of fresh melon, meyer lemon, bread, sweet pea flowers and vanilla alongside fresh apricot, which continues on the sparkler’s long finish.
Taylor’s Very Very Old Tawny Port Coronation Edition – £425 (Taylors)
While not made on British shores, Taylor’s Port is English-owned and run, hence its inclusion in our round-up. To mark the Coronation the house has set aside a tiny amount of Very Very Old Tawny Port to be bottled as a commemorative limited edition, drawing on some of the oldest and rarest Ports maturing in oak casks in the company’s lodges in Oporto. The pricey drop is the colour of dark tea and offers, according to its makers, a “majestic and assured” nose featuring mellow notes of cedar, balsamic, butterscotch, marzipan, vanilla, nutmeg and clove. The palate is fresh and vibrant, and the texture smooth and silky.
Silent Pool Coronation Edition – £45 (Silent Pool, Waitrose)
Surrey Hills distillery Silent Pool has branched out with a limited edition Coronation bottling decked out in regal purple. The Silent Pool blend has been given a right royal twist for the occasion, incorporating local botanicals, plants and flowers favoured by King Charles III. Seekng to encapsulate the aromas of English hedgerows, the gin features gentle notes of bergamot, rose petals, lavender and chamomile alongside raspberry leaves and tangy hawthorn berries in a hat tip to Charles’ role as patron of the British National Hedgelaying Society. The stately blend is finished with notes of plum and Earl Grey tea. Pinkies up…
Luscombe Rose & Cherry Bubbly – £26.50 for 12 (Luscombe)
And finally… for those who aren’t drinking alcohol over the Coronation weekend, Devon drinks maker (and proud Royal Warrant holder) Luscombe has created a limited edition sparkler infused with organic rose petals and juicy cherries in honour of King Charles. The sophisticated soft drink is naturally sweetened with Muscat grapes and finished with Sicilian lemons and soft Devon spring water. Inspired by the rose featured in the Coronation emblem, the gently sparkling fizz astutely balances the sweet-tartness of rich red cherries with the floral notes of the roses, and is perfect served chilled on its own, or with a citrus garnish.