Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

In honor of Her Majesty the Queen

Your cocktail calendar entry for: April
21
No Comments

April 21 is Queen Elizabeth’s birthday so here at The Drunkard’s Almanac we’ll be mixing up the Queen Elizabeth Cocktail in honor of the nonagenarian monarch.  After all, she’s 95 years old so just having another birthday is good cause for a toast.  She’s the longest-lived and longest-reigning of any British monarch, and we figure her record setting is a result of her drinking habits.

Elizabeth II

The Elizabeth we’re talking about here is Elizabeth II, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York.  Her father reigned as King George VI during WWII, and when Princess Elizabeth was 18 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a truck driver and mechanic.  This makes her not only the sole living head of state who served during WWII, but possibly the only one who can repair the transfer case in a Range Rover.   She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25.

This seems like a pretty good gig.  She was the nominal head of state of more than you might think.  Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen and Oman, a big swath of Africa and a lot of Caribbean islands.  Sure, some were just protectorates, but that’s farther than Blofeld ever got at world domination.  And he never got his face on currency.

Ruling the world is a burden, so it’s no surprise that she has a drink now and then.  Like daily, though the amounts have been disputed.  Most estimates put the Queen downing four drinks each day.  According to the former royal chef Darren McGrady the Queen would start before lunch with a gin and Dubonnet on the rocks with a slice of lemon.  Lunch included a glass of wine and a dry Martini.  By this account she is done with drinks until a glass of Champagne shortly before bedtime.   Other reports suggest she would have a Martini in the evening.  She has not issued a clarifying press release.

The Martinis seem plausible.  After all, she produces and sells two gins produced using botanicals from her gardens.  One is produced by Buckingham Palace and the other from her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

The Queen’s birthday is obvious cause for a drink, so we come to the question of what it should be.  Sure, we could follow directly in her footsteps with a Martini, but we’ve already covered that.  Dubonnet?  Somewhat obscure, but as we saw with the Napoleon cocktail ordinary sweet vermouth is not a bad substitute.

But it turns out there is a Queen Elizabeth cocktail, even if it wasn’t named after the Elizabeth we’re talking about here.  It’s also a low-ABV drink, seemingly appropriate given recent orders from her doctors.  In a striking blow, her doctors have recently advised her to give up daily drinks and she agreed to comply.  We think that’s more likely to kill her than help.

Notably, though, the drink itself is not British.  The Queen Elizabeth recipe was created by a bartender named Herbert Quack in 1934, at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia.  It was seemingly the winner of what must have been one of the earliest examples of brand-sponsored contests for bartenders.  In this case Benedictine was the sponsoring brand and they used the recipe in their 1935 advertising.

The Benedictine ad went on to note that the drink’s name was not based on the monarch but was named for Herbert Quack’s wife.  So indeed, our Drink of the Day may not have been named for our birthday Queen, and doesn’t even contain any British ingredients, but the name fits and that’s good enough for us.

queen elizabeth cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

We might be mixing this on the birthday of the British monarch, but the Queen Elizabeth cocktail actually comes from Philadelphia circa 1934. It was the invention of Herbert Quack, a bartender at the Benjamin Franklin hotel and was created as part of a new cocktail contest sponsored by Benedictine. It's a low ABV tippler, good as an aperitif to whet the appetite before a meal. Here the acididty of the lime juice tempers the sweetness of the Benedictine.
No ratings yet

Equipment

  • Shaker
  • Nick and Nora or coupe glass

Ingredients
  

  • oz Dry vermouth
  • ¾ oz Benedictine
  • ¾ oz Fresh lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to your trusty cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake until frosty cold.
  • Strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass. No garnish.
  • Drink.
  • Rinse and repeat.
Previous Post
Amaretto Sour
Next Post
Milano Torino Cocktail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Browse by Category
May we also suggest