As Britain prepares for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the drinks industry is gearing up with a host of limited edition products to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
With June 2-5 marking an extended bank holiday for the occasion, the trade is expecting big business. Drinks sales have been known to surge ahead of royal events – the week ending 19 May ahead of 2018’s royal wedding saw a 36.6% increase in sparkling wine sales compared to the same time period in 2017, as both the on and off-trade benefitted from the occasion. And retailers are expecting stronger sales this time.
Platinum Jubilee activity in the drinks industry
Château d’Esclans has introduced a limited-edition bottle design for its Whispering Angel rosé, which will be the official rosé wine of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. The label is embossed with a Jubilee Pageant logo.
English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber has released a special-edition bottle of its Classic Cuvée MV for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Featuring an iridescent sleeve with a Jubilee ribbon and seven crowns, the bottle pays homage to the seven decades that Queen Elizabeth II has spent on the throne. The wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
- Joseph Holt is launching an exclusive ‘Platinum lager’ with a blend of “summery fruit flavours” in a union jack can. Phil Parkinson, head brewer at Joseph Holt, says the cans will “make for very festive table pieces at any Jubilee celebration”.
Campari has created a Platinum Jubilee Negroni recipe, pairing the classic Campari and gin combination with the twist of Dubonnet, which is supposedly a “favourite tipple” of the Queen, in place of the usual vermouth. The drink is made by mixing all three ingredients with a 1:1:1 ratio.
To commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 840 months on the throne, Keepr spirits has released 840 bottles of its Classic London Dry Gin infused with honey from apiaries in Windsor Great Park. The purple bottle will feature an emblem for the Jubilee, and the spirit is described as a “delicately sweet twist” on traditional gin.
Foxdenton has launched a Jubilee Summer Pudding Gin Liqueur to “encapsulate the spirit of a Jubilee Summer”. The gin has notes of strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, with Foxdenton managing director, Nick Radclyffe, describing it as a “Summer drink perfect for serving at garden parties and street parties”.
The English Whisky Co’s Platinum Jubilee Whisky was released as part of the distillery’s range of royal whiskies to commemorate the event. The single malt was aged in oak casks, and its packaging features the Royal Arms by permission of Lord Chamberlain.
Bestway Wholesale has launched a promotional campaign ahead of the Platinum Jubilee, by transforming its depots into ‘palaces’ with individual rooms for major suppliers such as Heineken. Kenton Burchell, trading director at Bestway, said the wholesaler hopes to inspire “excitement” and “enthusiasm” among its cash and carry customers.
Suffolk-based sustainable distillery Adnams has released its Distiller’s Choice Platinum Jubilee Gin, which is produced from its triple grain Longshore Vodka. Only 300 bottles of the thyme-infused gin are available, with a specially designed label illustrated with a crown and the years in which the Queen has been on the throne.
Official Champagne partner for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant and the Epsom Derby, Moët & Chandon, has issued limited-edition labels for its Impérial Blanc and Rosé Impérial. Managing director Alexei Rosin says the brand will also be hosting a selection of Jubilee-themed events, including “Jubilee afternoon tea at Grantley Hall” in Yorkshire.
Lambrini has created limited-edition ‘Lamqueeni’ bottle designs, which will be on sale for one month between mid-May and mid-June. The design features the Union Jack flag, and is available in gold, silver and rose gold.
Harveys sherry will celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with a limited edition release of its Bristol Cream, with a commemorative bottle. Harveys claims to be “the only Spanish sherry brand to be awarded with the prestigious Royal Warrant by the British Royal Household”.
Sandford Orchard’s Jubilee Limited Edition Devon Red Cider will be available from mid-May, with chief cidermaker Barny Butterfield saying it is “created from British apples grown and pressed in Devon, using traditional methods, at the oldest working cider mill in the UK”. The Union Jack bottle contains Sandford’s classic Devon Red, which is described as a “refreshing medium cider”.
Virgin Wines has released 500 bottles of a Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition English Sparkling Brut. The wine was made in collaboration with East Sussex vineyard, Henners, and will feature “quintessentially English flavours and a shield-inspired design fit for royalty” to celebrate the occasion.
Nirvana Brewery has brought back its 0.5% Elderflower Lager, which was created in collaboration with Wise Bartender, in time for the Platinum Jubilee. The elderflower-infused lager has “sweet and floral” notes. Becky Kean, co-founder at Nirvana Brewery, describes elderflower as the “quintessential scent of a British summer”.
Stratford-upon-Avon spirits producer, Shakespeare Distillery, has launched a new Jubilee Gin inspired by “a summer garden”. With flavours of hibiscus, lemon verbena and thyme, added butterfly pea flowers give the gin a distinctive “royal blue” colour.
Replacing its standard bottles until August, Pimm’s has launched a limited-edition bottle design with the slogan ‘come reign or shine’. Pimm’s category director Kate Veale says: “The limited-edition design is perfect for those looking for something special during the extra-long Platinum Jubilee weekend, whether they are hosting at home or having get-togethers within their local community.”