The pandemic has been hard on everyone and even Queen Elizabeth realises you might need a drink to get through it.
The Royal Family announced Monday that they’ve started selling homemade gin. Buckingham Palace gin is made from ingredients gathered at the palace gardens, which span about 39 acres and have about 200 species of wildflowers.
According to the palace’s website, it contains 12 hand-picked flowers and citruses, including “lemon, verbena, hawthorn berries and mulberry leaves.” Mulberry trees were planted in the royal gardens in the 1500’s under King James I, and there are now 40 different species growing in the gardens.
“For the perfect thirst-quencher, the recommended serving method is to pour a measure of the gin into an ice-filled short tumbler before topping up with tonic and garnishing with a slice of lemon,” suggested the palace in its official announcement. The beverage will also be served at events there.
It isn’t surprising that the palace picked gin as their beverage of choice. Queen Elizabeth, as well as her late mother, are notoriously known for their love of gin cocktails made with Dubonnet, a French floral aperitif. The Queen likes her cocktail with two ice cubes and a slice of lemon right before lunch.
A former royal servant once revealed that the Queen Mother once requested two small bottles of Dubbonet and gin on a handwritten note, saying that she would take it with her in the morning “in case it is needed.” The note ended up becoming a sought-after royal artifact that was auctioned off for £16,000.
The palace’s gin on the other hand is being sold for a much reasonable price, with the 70 ml bottles costing 40 pounds (about C$68). They come at a proof of 42 per cent but are unfortunately only available in the United Kingdom at this time.
Proceeds from the sale of the gin will go into the Royal Collection Trust, a charity that helps preserve and manage many of the royal palaces and the exhibits inside them.
The Royal Family had to come up with a way to make up for major losses they suffered after having to close the palace and several other tourist destinations during the pandemic. The Royal Collection Trust said earlier this month that they forecasted a 30-million-pound loss and had to cut back on staff pay.
Sightseers are a major source of income for the Royals and after voluntarily shutting down for the pandemic, their forecasted profit of £77 million went down to £13 million. Some of the royal palaces are reopening on July 23 with new social distancing measures.
Until then, if you want a taste of the royal life and a break from the chaos of this year, responsibly pour yourself a gin cocktail. After all, it’s 11 a.m. somewhere and the Queen herself is indulging in a little sip.