The Queen’s favourite alcoholic drinks, according to former royal chef

·3 min read
Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet inside Brdo Castle near Ljubljana, Slovenia, October 2008 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive/PA Images)
Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet inside Brdo Castle near Ljubljana, Slovenia, October 2008 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive/PA Images)

As monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II is exceptionally busy for a 94-year-old.

While her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from royal duties in 2017, the Queen remains the ever-present figurehead for the royal family, even carrying out several socially-distanced royal engagements during the coronavirus pandemic.

At the end of a long day of official engagements one can imagine Her Majesty putting her feet up with a drink, alongside her two beloved dorgi dogs (a Dachshund-Corgi mix), Vulcan and Candy.

A number of alcohol brands hold royal warrants - a brand can apply for such status after being served in the royal household for at least five years. These include, but are not limited to, Agnostura bitters, Bacardi-Martini, Bollinger champagne, GH Mumm champagne, Krug champagne and Johnnie Walker Scotch.

But what is the Queen's favourite drink of choice? And how frequently is she known to drink?

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What is the Queen’s favourite tipple?

Darren McGrady, who previously worked as a personal chef for Queen Elizabeth II for over a decade, and later served Princess Diana and her two sons, William and Harry, recently divulged everything that the Queen eats in a day.

Sharing a series of videos on YouTube, the former royal chef explained that during his time working for the monarch between 1982 and 1993, the Queen enjoyed four small meals a day, and always took afternoon tea - even when they were on the Royal Yacht Britannia on a tour of Australia.

When it comes to Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite tipple, the nonagenarian is (like the Queen Mother also was) partial to a gin and Dubonnet – a sweet, wine-based aperitif – McGrady told CNN in August 2017.

When McGrady spoke to the publication three years ago, he clarified reports that had quoted him as saying that the Queen consumed four drinks a day.

He explained that he had been speaking over the phone when he said the Queen has a “gin and Dubonnet”, not a “gin in the morning”, as he was mistakenly reported as stating.

“She’d be pickled if she drank that much,” he said, stating that the Queen “doesn’t wake up in the morning and have a large gin and tonic”.

“All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That’s her favourite drink,” he added.

To make the Queen’s favourite beverage the monarch is served two parts Dubonnet with one part gin.

Does the monarch have any other preferred drinks?

In addition to her gin and Dubonnet combo, the Queen also occasionally enjoys a sweet, German wine with her dinner.

“Just in the evening,” McGrady said. “She certainly doesn’t drink four glasses a day.”

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How can you buy the Palace’s own-brand gin?

In July, it was announced that Buckingham Palace had released an own-brand gin, made from ingredients taken from the gardens of the Queen’s London residence.

The spirit consists of ingredients including hawthorn berries, lemon verbena, mulberry leaves and bay leaves.

Infused with citrus and herbal notes, the gin costs £40 for a 70cl bottle and is 42 per cent ABV.

Shortly after the gin was released by the Royal Collection Trust, it was reported that it had sold out online within eight hours.

A spokesperson for the Trust said the organisation was “delighted with the response” to the gin, stating that another order had been placed with the supplier.

[This article was originally published in September 2020]