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How spirits brands are marking the coronation

Union Jacks and string bunting at the ready – on Saturday 6 May, the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will take place, and spirits brands have snapped up the opportunity to celebrate with some commemorative releases.

The coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May in London

It’s no surprise that gin brands have leapt at the opportunity to release numerous commemorative bottlings, given HRH’s penchant for a daily gin Martini – but we won’t lie and say we aren’t a little bit disappointed not to see at least one brand use coronation chicken as a ‘botanical’… A missed opportunity or a blessing? We’ll never know.

Meanwhile whisky producers have marked the historic day with plenty of new drams, including one familiar to His Majesty, and even the pre-mixed cocktail category has jumped on the royal bandwagon.

Keep reading to find out how these patriotic brands will be marking the royal occasion.

Highgrove Gardens and The Cotswolds Distillery – Coronation Whisky

Highgrove Coronation

The Cotswolds Distillery has collaborated with Highgrove Gardens to create a limited edition coronation whisky.

This English whisky was created using Plumage Archer barley grown on the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, England, and was distilled, matured, and bottled exclusively by the Cotswolds Distillery.

It comes from a specially selected shaved, toasted, and re-charred ex-red wine cask, which offers a rich and intense maturation to the fruity new make spirit, boasting strong notes of toffee, chocolate, and red fruits, as well as a deep colour.

Highgrove Coronation Single Malt Whisky is bottled at 50.2% and has an RRP £295 (US$366.70).

Four Sis4ers Distillery – Wonky Windsor gin

Salford’s Four Sis4ers Distillery has launched a limited edition fruit-waste strawberry gin to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, called Wonky Windsor. This pink gin is made with the fruits of ‘wonky’ British strawberries. It has been distilled in the distillery’s Arnold Holstein copper still, and inspired by King Charles’ love of the environment and passion for sustainability.

It is said the gin is best served with elderflower tonic over ice with a single strawberry, or added to a glass of Prosecco topped with lemonade for the perfect summer cocktail.

The strawberry gin is bottled ay 37.5% ABV and available in 500ml bottles for a limited time, priced at £26 (US$32.32)

The English Whisky Co – The English Coronation Whisky

In the summer of 2007, King Charles III declared The English Distillery officially open. The dram-loving monarch even took ownership of a few of the maturing casks, making the Norfolk-based distillery one of his preferred English whisky producers.

Now, to mark his coronation, The English has unveiled the latest bottling in its Royal range. The Royal range is bottled only on the birth, marriage, coronation or jubilee of those in direct line to the throne. These are rare events that the distillery believes should be celebrated, making the resulting collection of whiskies well worth owning and drinking.

The whisky offers aromas of toffee, cherries and baked apples, while on the palate, the toffee turns to chocolate and is joined by tastes of nuts and figs. It has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks and PX Sherry barrels, and there is a limit to 5,000 bottles available worldwide, each of which retails for £85 (US$105.66).

Shakespeare Distillery – King’s Coronation Gin

The team at the Shakespeare Distillery in Stratford-upon-Avon has crafted a dry gin that takes inspiration from the late Queen and Queen Mother’s love for a gin and Dubonnet.

Combining flavours of orange and currants with the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, rosemary, coriander, and angelica, the resulting juniper-led gin has a fruity and robust finish, fit for a king. It is recommended served with Fever-Tree tonic, ice, and a slice of orange.

The Coronation Gin is available in three bottle options and retails at £34 (US$42.26) for a 500ml bottle, £17.50 (US$21.75) for a 200ml bottle and £6.50 (US$8) for 50ml bottle. These can be purchased online on the distillery site or from the shop.

Historic Royal Palaces – Coronation Gin In A Tin

Created in collaboration with Gin In A Tin and the Historic Royal Palaces, The Coronation Gin design is inspired by the Crown Jewels, housed at the Tower of London. The letterbox-friendly tin is adorned with a magnificent gold foiled crown, featuring the iconic symbols of the four nations of the UK: a classic English rose, a traditional Scottish thistle, a springtime Welsh daffodil and the delicate Irish shamrock.

The London Dry gin inside the tin offers distinctive notes of lemon peel, coriander, cardamom and juniper. It is available from the John Lewis & Partners website and online from Gin In A Tin.

Kocktail – Crown Martini

It is said King Charles likes a Martini every night before dinner, however his exact preference for how it is served is unknown. We might assume, however, that he might opt for a gin he has an affinity with, such as Hepple Gin. In 2018, Hepple welcomed King Charles III to its estate in Northumbria where he planted his own juniper tree.

Hepple Gin is the lead spirit in the pre-mixed bottled Crown Martini by Kocktail, which was handcrafted by the brand’s small team of bartenders and inspired by special flavours found across the British Isles, with subtle notes of elderflower, rose, rhubarb and cucumber.

It is available exclusively in John Lewis & Partners stores in the UK, for RRP £28 (US$34.81).

Whitley Neill – Connoisseur’s Cut Coronation Gin

Whitley Neill Coronation

Distilled at The City of London Distillery, the first and only gin distillery in the heart of London for more than 200 years, Whitley Neill Connoisseur’s Cut Gin is a classic London Dry expression that sits at 47% ABV, letting the rich juniper and citrus notes shine through.

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the City of London unveiled a new still called Elizabeth after the late Queen. It is on this still that all Whitley Neill’s London Dry gins are made, including this special release.

The limited edition bottle boasts a striking, patriotic red, white and blue colour scheme, with the official coronation emblem on the seal of the lid. It is available for all customers to order now, and is also currently live on The Drop Store for RRP £30 (US$37.29).

Silent Pool – Coronation Gin

Raising a glass to the highly anticipated coronation of King Charles III is Silent Pool, a brand that is no stranger to commemorative royal bottlings. Releasing an exclusive Coronation Gin ‘fit for a royal’, the limited edition blue and purple bottle is said to be the perfect tipple for enjoying at a street party.

Boasting a new recipe, crafted specifically to celebrate the historical occasion, Silent Pool’s Coronation Gin has been made using infusions of King Charles’ favourite Surrey botanicals, plants and flowers, with gentle notes of bergamot orange, complemented by elegant floral notes from rose petals, lavender and chamomile.

Silent Pool’s 43% ABV Coronation Gin also uses dried plum and raspberry leaves to infuse the gin, leaving lingering fruity notes. Finally, Earl Grey tea and tangy hawthorn berries deepen the palette.

It is available to purchase now for RRP £45 (US$55.94), exclusively in stores at Waitrose.

Royal Salute – King Charles III Edition

As well as marking this historic day in history, the coronation of King Charles III also marks a new era for this Scotch whisky brand, as it was first created as a gift for Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation in 1953.

A blend of more than 53 rare malt and grain whiskies, the Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition is a rich and complex expression with notes of fresh redcurrants, dark chocolate praline, and freshly roasted chestnuts, and a palate of sweet figs and fresh ginger leading up to a long and rich finish with a playful spice.  

The whisky is housed in a Dartington Crystal decanter, tinted in a deep sapphire blue hue, reminiscent of the precious stones set within the Imperial State Crown. In keeping with Royal Salute’s signature style, the decanter is presented in a wooden box inspired by the iconic Westminster Abbey, with details intricately chiselled into the wood, paying tribute to the historic setting of British Coronation ceremonies since 1066.

Only 500 bottles are available to purchase from selected specialist retailers for RRP US$25,000.

Highclere Castle Gin – The King Charles Cocktail

highclere coronation

Bucking the trend for launching a commemorative bottling for the coronation, Berkshire-based Highclere Castle Gin has instead opted to create a celebratory cocktail in its honour. The King Charles Cocktail combines what is understood to be His Majesty’s two favourite spirits, gin and Scotch whisky.

This cocktail has the smoothness of gin and the boldness of Scotch to create a drink that the King would be happy to order. It is made with 50ml Highclere Castle Gin, 7ml The Macallan 12 (or a single malt Scotch of your choosing), 7ml orange curaçao and 15ml lemon juice. Combine all ingredients into a shaker and wet shake before straining into a Martini glass or coup.

Now raise your glass and cheers – long live the King!

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