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This weekend marks the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee—70 years in service to the Commonwealth as the queen of England—and she is the first British monarch to reach this impressive milestone. Official celebrations began yesterday (June 2) and those living in the U.K. have a four-day holiday weekend through Monday, June 6. Festivities to make their merriment include horse races, picnics, concerts and Jubilee lunches that will take place across the globe on Sunday afternoon, June 5. There will also be a roster of celebrity hosts throughout the weekend, from Elton John and Ed Sheeran to David Beckham.
While we don't exactly have the excuse to go all out celebrating for four full days here in the States, we can certainly participate in the festivities from afar this weekend. Many of London's most iconic hotels are serving up cocktails inspired by the queen herself, and we got our hands on the recipes. While some of these cocktails are pretty involved, they make a fun weekend activity for your at-home or alfresco Jubilee celebrations, and there are a few great picks for novice home bartenders as well. Read on to find your perfect pick for toasting to this monumental occasion and letting your inner Anglophile shine this weekend.
The Zaza Cocktail
This cocktail comes from the elegant Beaverbrook Town House, a five-star boutique hotel located in London's fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. This Queen Elizabeth II-inspired cocktail is being served at the hotel and at its sister property in Surrey all summer long in celebration of the Jubilee. It features gin crafted from the Beaverbrook Estate as well as Dubonnet (a vermouth-like aperitif) and is inspired by the Dubonnet Cocktail, which is the queen's favorite libation and was a favorite of the queen mother's as well.
½ ounce Dubonnet Rouge
½ ounce dry gin
Dash of Beaverbrook Bitters or other bitters
Twist of lemon peel for garnish
Combine Dubonnet, gin and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake well; strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist, if desired
The Lilibet Cocktail
This beauty was created by the folks at The Lanesborough, a stunning five-star hotel just off Hyde Park in London's Kensington neighborhood. The cocktail is being served just for the weekend as an exclusive celebration of the queen's major milestone. While this libation may be a bit of an undertaking to make, consider it a fun weekend project infusing the gin and feel free to skip the foamy garnish if you prefer. It will still be plenty delicious and have you dreaming of getting to The Lanesborough yourself one day.
45 mL Earl Grey-infused gin
10 mL crème de bergamot liqueur (we like Briottet)
12.5 mL crème de cacao blanc (we like Drillaud)
22.5 mL freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 mL simple syrup
English chardonnay and white chocolate liqueur foam for garnish
Micro edible flowers for garnish
Combine gin, crème de bergamot, crème de cacao, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake well; double-strain into a long coupe glass. Garnish with foam and flowers, if desired.
The Dubonnet Cocktail
This simple yet satisfying cocktail is Elizabeth's notorious libation of choice. We love this take from Sipsmith, a London-based gin brand that will be the first-ever official gin partner of Wimbledon this year. Keep this recipe in your back pocket to sip through the end of the month's matches!
1 part Sipsmith London Dry Gin
1 part Dubonnet Rouge
Dash of orange bitters
Lemon twist for garnish
Combine gin, Dubonnet and bitters in a mixing glass; stir well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with lemon twist, if desired.
The Purple Reign Cocktail
This cleverly named cocktail comes from another London hospitality icon: The Dorchester. This drink is inspired by the four countries of the United Kingdom, reigned over by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and created by the award-winning team at The Bar at The Dorchester. It's another cocktail project, but your pear-infused vermouth will be the gift that keeps on giving long after Sunday's festivities wrap up.
35 mL Samuel Gelston's single malt Irish whiskey or other Irish whiskey
10 mL Discarded Vermouth infused with Welsh pears or other pear-infused vermouth
20 mL English raspberry liqueur (we also love Mathilde)
3 small bowls oil, colored red, white and blue (optional)
Twist of lemon peel for garnish
To infuse vermouth: Place a peeled pear in a jar and cover with vermouth. Cover and refrigerate for a few days. Strain through cheesecloth into a bottle and keep refrigerated between uses.
To prepare cocktail: Add ice to a cocktail mixing glass and pour in Irish whiskey, infused vermouth and raspberry liqueur; stir well. Strain the cocktail into a martini glass. If desired, use an eyedropper to drop each colored oil into the cocktail, making sure they are not too close together. To finish, use a small spray bottle to spray Scotch whisky over the drink. If desired, sharply squeeze pith side of lemon peel across the cocktail and garnish with the twist.