7:00am Saturday 19th May 2012
Fancy a drink? Our drinks columnist Sam Wylie-Harris selects some prize bottles for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Drinks by royal appointment With all eyes on London for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (June 2 to 5), and the city strung in red, white and blue bunting, street party celebrations call for patriotic pours with a slice of memorabilia just for good measure.
To crown the day and bring some regal splendour to the table, here are 10 top tipples designed to wish Her Majesty well, toast old Blighty and chime with the pomp and ceremony of the occasion.
A fizz full of fun Sinfully sweet and dressed to thrill, what's not love about Lambrini's limited edition Lambrini Original? (£2.99, major supermarkets). The silver bottle is emblazoned with Union Jacks, coronets, diamonds, party poppers and balloons, and while this sparkling perry may not be to everyone's taste, the packaging is too priceless to resist.
Prized ale Award-winning Cornish brewer St Austell Brewery has launched its Limited Edition Royal Diamond Imperial IPA (£12, 9% abv, 75cl, www.staustellbreweryshop.co.uk). Lightly sparkling and styled to accompany seared scallops with bacon and asparagus, it's fruity and hoppy with good depth of flavour thanks to a secondary fermentation in champagne bottles. Serve chilled in a champagne flute.
Seal of approval Royal Warrant holder Fortnum & Mason is showcasing a vast spread of food and drink with patriotic labels themed around two of the Queen's Beasts (a dancing lion and unicorn). Suited to posh purses, must-haves include Fortnum's Jubilee Blanc de Blancs Champagne (£11.50, www.fortnumandmason.com) and Jubilee Royal Brackla 11 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (£40, www.fortnumandmason.com), which is non-chill filtered at 46% abv for purists.
Port of call Cellar masters to the Royal Family, Berry Bros & Rudd has joined hands with Symington Family Estates to offer discerning drinkers The Graham's 1952 Tawny Port (£275, 75cl, www.bbr.com). Produced the year the Queen ascended to the throne, each individually numbered bottle is presented in a gift pack and also comes in a special pack of three (£795, www.bbr.com) for collectors with deep pockets and a taste for fine old tawny port.
Spanish gem One of Spain's leading sherry bodegas, Gonzalez Byass produced a limited edition Diamond Jubilee Sherry in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's 60-year reign, and in true family spirit has released Gonzalez Byass Diamond Jubilee Cava (£14.99, Tesco) in honour of her great-great-granddaughter's Diamond Jubilee. Delicate and fruity, these fine bubbles will keep on dancing long after the brass bands have stopped playing.
Proud to be British The perfect brew for barbecues and sharing tables, chaps are being urged to 'Keep Calm and Celebrate' with the Spitfire Limited Edition Glorious 2012 (£1.69, 4.5% abv, major supermarkets). Made from malted barley, local Kentish hops and chalk-filtered mineral water, the slight bitterness and hoppy flavours in the 'Bottle of Britain' have become a firm favourite among beer lovers, with Spitfire Ale now Shepherd Neame's biggest-selling cask-conditioned ale.
Pop and pageantry Her Majesty's champagne of choice since awarding Moet & Chandon a Royal Warrant in 1955 (her great-great-great-grandmother granted the champagne house the same honour in 1893, along with three kings before her), Moet has released Moet & Chandon Diamond Jubilee Cuvee (£33.49, Waitrose) to commemorate HM Queen Elizabeth II's remarkable reign. The champagne will be flowing at the Diamond Jubilee picnic at the palace on June 4, and top tables across the country who want to mirror the occasion.
Cornish corker Father and son Bob and Sam Lindo (UK winemaker of the Year 2011) share a stash of trophies and medals between them for their splendid Camel Valley sparkle. To pop the cork over the long bank holiday weekend, try their special Camel Valley Jubilee Pack (£74.85, www.camelvalley.com), which includes Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rose 2010, which came top in a recent blind tasting of English sparkling wines, Chardonnay Sparkling Brut 2009 and Cornwall Brut 2010, with £5 from every pack sold being donated to Action Aid.
Flying the flag A Royal Warrant holder since 1860, champagne house Lanson has the Diamond Jubilee all zipped up with its patriotic Black Label NV Limited Edition Union Jack Bottle (£31.99, major retailers). Dressed in a red, white and blue thermal jacket to keep the champagne chilled from fridge to fun-filled festivities, Lanson has set the stage for plenty of flag-waving this summer.
That's the spirit!
Old England meets Cool Britannia courtesy of graphic artist Jamie Hewlett's pictorial take for Absolut vodka's latest London campaign. Set against iconic landmarks, seven eclectic characters from the past 200 years are the toast of the town on the bottle front of Absolut London Limited Edition (£17.89, 70cl, major supermarkets nationwide). Favourites include a Dickensian cheeky chappy, pinstripe gentleman with bowler hat and a cool 1960s chick.
Best buy Jean Paul Gaultier for Diet Coke... Style-seekers and fashionistas thirsty for the latest must-have mixer should check out Diet Coke's new collaboration with the French fashion designer. The Serial Designer Series, Night & Day (£1.95 each, Harvey Nichols nationwide) features two of his designs on Diet Coke bottles - Gaultier's signature nautical-themed blue and white T-shirt, and a black and white corset with his iconic cone bra design.
Liquid news Material girl... Celebrating Madonna's 12th studio album MDNA and the start of her 2012 world tour, Smirnoff's new limited edition pack (£15.09, 70cl, Sainsbury's) includes a VIP access card which gives fans the opportunity to unlock never-seen-before backstage content, as well as an exclusive download of Madonna's latest re-mix track, Give Me All Your Luvin. For more information, visit www.smirnoff.com
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