Buckingham Palace Launches Its Very Own 'Unique' Gin — with Ingredients from the Queen's Garden!
Queen Elizabeth's rear garden provided key ingredients for the London dry gin, which is being sold to raise funds for the conservation of the royal art collection
Ever wanted to drink like royalty? Well, now you can!
"The spirit is infused with citrus and herbal notes derived from 12 botanicals, several of which are from Buckingham Palace garden, including lemon verbena, hawthorn berries, bay leaves and mulberry leaves," says a release from the Royal Collection Trust.
The charity, which organizes the opening of the main royal palaces and their accompanying stores to the public, has distilled the spirit to raise funds for the conservation of the Queen's extensive art collection, one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact.
"The garden at Buckingham Palace provides a habitat for 30 species of birds and more than 250 species of wildflowers," adds the release. "The planting of mulberry trees was popularized in England during the reign of James I, and this royal association continues today, with 40 different species of the trees in the Palace garden."
The distillers of the gin recommend the royal tipple is served by "pouring a measure into an ice-filled short tumbler before topping up with tonic and garnishing with a slice of lemon." It will also be offered to guests at official palace events and garden parties.
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There's a decent chance it may find its way into the glass of the monarch too: the Queen reportedly enjoys a daily cocktail of gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice just before lunch, according to Darren McGrady, a former palace chef.
The late Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, also claimed that the Queen will imbibe in a dry gin martini with lunch for good measure.
Buckingham Palace is following in a well-trod royal path by distilling the spirit, which comes in an elegant, florally-decorated 70cl bottle, priced $50.
The gin also represents something of a financial lifeline for the Royal Collection Trust, which has lost millions of dollars in funding since the coronavirus pandemic forced Buckingham Palace and other royal homes such as Windsor Castle and Holyrood House to shut their doors to tourists.
Despite the main royal palaces reopening on July 23, around 200 royal staffers now reportedly face the prospect of being laid off this summer.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has posed by far the greatest challenge to Royal Collection Trust in the charity’s history," a spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust recently told PEOPLE, while not confirming the redundancy figures.
"The closure to the public of Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh has had a very significant and serious impact on our finances.
"Based on current cost assumptions, it is estimated that Royal Collection Trust will incur a loss of £30 million ($37.6 million) by the end of 2020/21," the spokesperson added.