Coronation tipples fit for a new King

Ahead of the Coronation of King Charles III on May 6, Times Drinks Editor James Viner suggests toasting the new monarch with some of these celebratory English bottles…


1:  A supermarket vodka to mix a majestic Coronation cocktail to toast King Charles III

Haysmith’s English Vodka, England (Aldi, £14.99)

With the Coronation just around the corner, you’ll unquestionably want a cocktail assortment that’s suitable for any king, queen, or heir expectant. Get in the spirit with this full-bodied, creamy vodka, which was skilfully fashioned by master distillers in the Yorkshire Dales. Try it in this Grand Coronation cocktail:

  • 40ml Aldi’s Haysmith’s English Vodka
  • 20ml Grand Marnier
  • 5ml Campari
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • English sparkling wine, such as The Wine Society’s stellar Exhibition Ridgeview Estate English Sparkling NV wine (£24) or Crémant/dry Prosecco

Directions: Shake the first four ingredients with ice, then strain them into a champagne flute. Top up with sparkling wine. Garnish with orange zest cut into, yes, a crown shape. It’s also a good choice (much cheaper than Ketel One vodka) for two other majestic – Martini Royale and Royal Toast – cocktails. Cin cin King Charles III! Alc 40%


2:  Bargain supermarket spicy and citrusy premium gin

Co-op Irresistible London Dry Gin, England (Co-op, £18)

Coronation G&Ts anyone? Craft gin can cost £30 upwards. Only room for a single, premium own-label bargainous gin? Make it Co-op’s extremely characterful and complex Tellicherry black pepper, lemon verbena, cumin, rowanberry and cardamom zip of a model London dry gin. Created by star distiller Joanne Moore – one of the gin industry’s biggest names – with the final blend of exotic 16 botanicals chosen by Co-op members. A spicy and citrusy treat of a gin steal. Just the ticket for a Royal Smile cocktail and ace in a negroni. Alc 40%


3:  Must-try special London ‘bone dry’ gin

Bone Idyll London Bone Dry Gin, England (Majestic, £29)

Created by the established restaurateur husband and wife team Sam and Alex Berry in 2022, the Bone Idyll Distillery and Bar in Kingston Upon Thames sells premium small-batch spirits and cocktails. My kind of gin made from 100% British wheat and a botanical mix which includes cardamon, coriander seeds, grapefruit/lemon peel, orris and, of course, juniper. Punchy, bold finish of juniper, citrus and spice. It’s a lightning strike of pure refreshment and a superb premium gin for your Coronation drinks cabinet. Alc 40%


4:  Mark the special Coronation Bank Holiday weekend in style with an X-factor NV sparkling rosé from Hampshire

Berry Bros & Rudd English Sparkling Rosé by Hambledon, Hampshire, England (Berry Bros & Rudd, £29.95)

Reputedly the cradle of cricket and the location of England’s first commercial vineyard (established in 1952 by Major-General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones), Hambledon has a lengthy and intriguing history. Their sparkling wines are now in top form. Fragrant, elegant and dry with classy acidity, this Berry Bros & Rudd own-label Chardonnay-forward (with 12% Pinot Noir) bottling from Hambledon is a cracker and great value to boot, the seductive flavours capturing elements of forest floor, red fruits, pink grapefruit, briar and blackberry fruit throughout the long, scintillating palate. Remains super-fresh with a bright acid tingle to close. Great for a pukka coronation Kir Royale. Total pleasure awaits. Kudos to head winemaker Hervé Jestin. Sublime. Alc 12%


5:  Go big with something truly special – a stylish vintage magnum from W. Sussex

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2010 magnum, W. Sussex/Hampshire, England (Grape Britannia, Berry Bros & Rudd and Nyetimber, £84.99-£88)

There’s something delightfully celebratory about a magnum of wine. If ever there was a time to purchase a magnum or two of English bubbly, this is it.

Say hello to an impactful 1.5-litre bottle of rich, regal bubbly from W. Sussex’s Nyetimber. This refined vintage wine wears a subtle sheen of pungent autolysis with almonds, honey, shortcrust pastry, baking spice, bright red berries and poached pear. Layer upon layer of delicate flavour, texture and depth.

All in all, extremely smart. The wine is splendid now, but it will age charmingly too. Get a second bottle to revisit in a decade (the ratio of air to wine in a magnum is much less than in a standard 75cl bottle, meaning the wine ages far more gradually and tastes sprier).

Don’t be afraid to decant to bring out the subtle, secondary tastes. Not cheap, but a bullseye expression of a vintage English sparkler with some age on it. Bravo Nyetimber’s Canadian winemaker Cherie Spriggs. Crying out for a plate of royal oysters. Sheer joy. 51% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Meunier.  Alc 12%


Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

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