Drinks fit for a Queen

With the Queen’s birthday long weekend coming up (in a few states at least) why not think about a tipple to celebrate the Queen? Getting to 90 years old is an achievement for anyone, but when you’re still the working Head of State, riding horses and opening events and buildings on almost a daily basis, there’s certainly something to celebrate!

According to the Royal palace, the Queen rather likes a drink or two. So if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s certainly good enough for me! Three cheers to Her Majesty!

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It probably comes as no surprise that the Queen is rather partial to a glass of prestige bubbles. Pol Roger and Moet & Chandon even bear the official Royal warrant.

Champagne is the perfect way to start any birthday celebration – royal or otherwise. Whether it’s a vintage Bollinger RD or a piccolo of Mumm with a straw, bubbles certainly bring the right sort of mood for merriment and joy.

So this weekend you have the ultimate excuse to pop open a bottle and celebrate Her Majesty’s 90 years!


A woman of the Queen’s era would probably be partial to a glass or two of a cream sherry before dinner. I know that my grandma loved a glass of this when I was growing up.

Being a bit more sophisticated these days, a lovely Oloroso or Amontillado sherry would probably be much nicer and more refined.  Sherry is made by blending white wine, from the Palomino grape, and then fortifying it with grape spirit. It is aged in oak barrels and oxidized slightly, to give it a much darker colour and richer flavour than wine alone.

Sherry can be drunk by itself, over ice or mixed with other ingredients in a cocktail. It is the perfect aperitif and is wonderful with Spanish tapas.

Gin and Dubbonet

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Like her mother before her, the Queen enjoys a daily Gin and Dubbonet before (or sometimes with) lunch. And rumour has it she also has one before bedtime. Sometimes it’s while watching The Daily Politics on BBC2 no less! Dubbonet is a sweet, aromatic wine-based aperitif developed by the French in 1846. It is a blend of fortified wine, herbs, and spices (including a small amount of quinine).

How to make the perfect Gin & Dubbonet

The Queen decrees that her drink be made by mixing 1 part gin and 2 parts of Dubonnet with two ice cubes and a slice of lemon. Serve in a highball glass.

Fortified Wine

Confession time: I don’t know for sure that the Queen likes to drink fortified wines. But with it being winter here in Australia when we celebrate her birthday, it makes sense to enjoy a rich and warming glass of liquid gold. Look for a beautiful Topaque, Muscat or Tawny from Rutherglen, where the most rich and luscious Australian versions of these wines come from.

Fill a small glass and enjoy on a brisk afternoon, or as a treat with chocolate or cheese after dinner.