Victoria Day Holiday 

“The 24th of May is the Queen’s birthday,

If they don’t give us a holiday we’ll all run away.”

Among those of us of a certain age, who can forget this childhood ditty? Alexandrinan Victoria was born on the 24th of May in 1819.

The holiday was first conceived as Empire Day, to remind children of their role in a “Glorious Empire where the sun never sets”, but it was not instituted until 1902, the year following Queen Victoria’s death. 

For sixty-four years she ruled supreme in a country which ruled the globe. 

Her legacy and the Victorian era became synonymous with many positive events that took place at the time. Artists, writers, and poets flourished, many social, religious, and political movements started, and there was a move on border expansion and political reforms. It was at that point that many people started to consider the era something of a second renaissance age. During her reign, Queen Victoria helped change Britain for the better, paving the way for modern Britain.


Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter, Elizabeth II has endured a longer and even more challenging reign.

As if coping with a major war, the loss of the Empire, the Irish, the colonies, the media, financial crises,the siblings and children, plus a global pandemic, now she’s got “Megxit” to deal with. 

It’s enough to call for a drink from the Royal Butler! 

The Cocktail

There are a number of recipes claiming to be THE Queen Victoria cocktail.

As far as we know, Queen Victoria liked a tipple, particularly beer, but her absolute favourite drink was said to be a combination of single malt Scotch whisky and Claret

It is said that many around her thought the drink was disgusting, but no one’s going to argue with a monarch. And with a wine cellar worth millions of pounds, she could order what she wished.

This simple sweet three-parter would be fine to sip while contemplating the final days of the British Empire.


What you need

  • 1 oz cognac or brandy
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz orange Curacąo

What you do

Stir everything together with ice and strain into a martini glass. No garnish is called for, but if you want one, try a cinnamon stick or a twist of orange peel.

Garnish: orange peel

Serve: martini glass

Style: digestif

Taste: sweet, orangey

Party like a Royal!

Patrick (Paddy) Moore

Patrick (Paddy) Moore is the author of the series Quarantinis, Eh? featuring cocktails that commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

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