I love a good Royal Wedding and the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no exception. A party like this deserves a special drink and I’m sure my Markle Sparkle will be sipped at many a get together. Pulling together the best bits of California and Britain is something I’m pretty adept at, so to help you celebrate the big day, I’ve created a party menu with recipes that bring together the best of California and Britain – to reflect both their (and my) homelands. Get the rest of my Royal Wedding party menu and tips here.
The inspiration for the Markle Sparkle
The Palace have confirmed that Meghan and Harry have chosen ‘a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.’ When I saw the flavours of the Violet Cakes wedding cake, I immediately thought how I could turn them into a cocktail (don’t judge). California trees groan with citrus, and gin and elderflower couldn’t be more English. So they marry together as perfectly as the royal couple.
Because there will most likely be non drinkers at your bash, I’m giving you the options to make a booze-full or booze-free version of the Markle Sparkle. Scroll down for some other suitably British and Californian drinks to sip on the big day.
Keep it stress-free by making the cocktail ahead, keep it in the fridge in a jug or bottle and top up with soda water or Cava as you serve it – letting your guests choose how much they want to water it down. They can also add more elderflower to suit their desire for sweetness.
Ingredients to make one Markle Sparkle – multiply this by how many of you will be drinking
1 length of grapefruit rind – I use a potato peeler to get mine
60ml (2 oz) fresh grapefruit juice (around half a grapefruit) or you could use lemon
30-60ml (1-2 oz) St Germain Elderflower Liqueur buy it here in the UK or here in the US or any elderflower liqueur
60ml (2 oz) gin, I like Manchester Gin buy it here in the UK or St George gin in the US
60ml (2 oz) sparkling water or Cava
To make an alcohol free Markle Sparkle
Switch the gin to Seedlip. Buy it here in the UK or here in the US and switch the elderflower liqueur to a teaspoon of elderflower cordial or any sparkling elderflower drink. In the UK, buy Belvoir cordial or their low sugar sparkling elderflower.
In the US Trader Joe’s sell cans of elderflower and lemon.
- Peel the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler to get a long length of zest. Put the zest in a chilled glass.
- Mix all the ingredients except the soda water or Cava in a measuring jug with a large cube of ice, taste and adjust. If you want more sweetness add more elderflower. Keep in the fridge until your guests arrive.
- Serve and top up with sparkling water or Cava.
- Leftover cocktail will sit in the fridge for a week.
Give the rest of your drinks the royal treatment
In the UK Buy some English sparkling wine (Nyetimber, Giffords Hall, Bolney or Camel Valley) and some California beers and you’re sorted. Tesco, Majestic, M&S and Sainsburys have Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada beer.
In the US Buy California champagne and English beers. Find English beers here at Bev Mo.
You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools. You can also buy my other bits of essential kitchen equipment through this post.
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