Queen Elizabeth Cocktail Recipe

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Queen Elizabeth Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Queen Elizabeth cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It is said to have been created in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the British throne in 1952. This elegant cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a sophisticated and timeless drink.

  • The Queen Elizabeth cocktail is often associated with royalty and high society events
  • It has been enjoyed by many notable figures throughout history, including Winston Churchill and Audrey Hepburn
  • The drink is often served at prestigious events such as royal weddings and state dinners

How Queen Elizabeth Tastes?

The Queen Elizabeth cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. The gin provides a strong, botanical base, while the Dubonnet adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of bitterness. The lemon juice brings a refreshing, tangy element to the drink, and the orange liqueur adds a subtle citrusy sweetness.

Interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth

  • The Queen Elizabeth cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Royal Cocktail'
  • It is believed that Queen Elizabeth II herself enjoys this cocktail, as she is known to be a fan of gin-based drinks
  • The original recipe for the Queen Elizabeth cocktail called for Kina Lillet, a now-discontinued aperitif, which has been replaced by Dubonnet in modern versions


A few good options for Queen Elizabeth are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


  • Why: Gin is the canvas of our cocktail, providing a botanical backdrop that defines its character. Using 2 oz keeps the drink balanced; too much and you're in pine tree territory, too little and it’s a Dubonnet showcase.
  • Alternatives: Substitute with vodka for a less herbal profile, or a floral gin for a more aromatic experience.

Mary Mitkina


  • Why: Dubonnet adds a sweet, wine-like complexity that gives the Queen Elizabeth its regal flair. 1 oz is just enough to dance with the gin without stepping on its toes.
  • Alternatives: A sweet vermouth can be used, which will make the drink a touch more herbaceous.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

  • Why: It's the citrus zing in our cocktail crown, offering a fresh sharpness. 0.5 oz cuts through sweetness; too much can turn the kingdom sour, too little and the realm is unbalanced.
  • Alternatives: Lime juice could be used for a sharper tang, but it would alter the royal profile.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

  • Why: It brings a fruity whisper to the mix, a hint of orange that complements the gin and Dubonnet. 0.5 oz is a subtle nod to citrus without causing a revolt.
  • Alternatives: Triple sec or Cointreau are common options that add a similar citrus complexity, maybe slightly sweeter or stronger in flavor.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Twist

  • Why: The essential oils from the twist add aromatic appeal; it's the crown jewel. Without it, the cocktail loses its zestful coronation.
  • Alternatives: A lemon twist could work, but it would shift the citrus balance more towards lemon.

Emma Rose


  • Why: The cherry is more than just a pretty garnish; it’s a sweet parting gift as you finish your drink, like a royal wave goodbye. If you skip it, you miss the farewell ceremony.
  • Alternatives: A twist would merely be an aromatic whisper; the cherry adds a final flavor note.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Queen Elizabeth Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the gin, Dubonnet, lemon juice, and orange liqueur
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with an orange twist and a cherry

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Shake the cocktail shaker until it's frosty on the outside for a well-chilled drink

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platters: A selection of mild cheeses like Brie or Camembert can complement the herbaceous notes of the gin.
  • Savory Pastries: Think of flaky crusts with vegetable or meat fillings that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Roasted Chicken: A well-seasoned roasted chicken pairs nicely with the citrusy notes of the cocktail.
  • Grilled Seafood: The brightness of the lemon and the slight bitterness of the Dubonnet are excellent with grilled shrimps or lobsters.


  • Fruit Tarts: The sweetness of a fruit tart could balance the cocktail’s botanicals and citrus.
  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate might contrast beautifully with the cocktail’s fruity and floral layers.

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What you could change in Queen Elizabeth

  • Dubonnet: Can be substituted with other sweet vermouths
  • Gin: A light rum or vodka could be used for a different flavor profile
  • Orange liqueur: Triple sec or Cointreau can be used as alternatives

Explore all drinks starting with Q here

And of course - twists🍹

The Royal Blush

  • Ingredients: Swap out the gin for a floral hibiscus infusion, and add a splash of cranberry juice.
  • Recipe: Follow the original, but with the hibiscus infusion and addition of cranberry juice.
  • Flavor profile: A royal cocktail with a blushing twist, it's floral, fruity, and a tad more tart, perfect for those summer garden parties.

The Queen's Orchard

  • Ingredients: Add 0.5 oz of apple brandy along with the original ingredients.
  • Recipe: Include apple brandy in the shake, creating a regal but rustic flavor profile.
  • Flavor profile: The apple brandy adds a warm, autumnal note, making the cocktail fit for a harvest festival in the countryside.

The Citrus Crown

  • Ingredients: Gin is replaced by lemon vodka, and a dash of simple syrup is added.
  • Recipe: Shake lemon vodka with the Dubonnet, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup.
  • Flavor profile: A brighter, sweeter take on majesty, this iteration is zesty and invigorating, just the thing for toasting a new era.

In case you forgot basics how to make Queen Elizabeth

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Queen Elizabeth

Can I use another type of fruit for garnishing?

Yes, you can use other types of citrus fruit like lime or grapefruit for a different flavor profile.

What kind of occasions is the Queen Elizabeth cocktail appropriate for?

Given its historical context, this cocktail would be perfect for parties, anniversaries, weddings or any celebratory events.

What type of glass is recommended for serving the Queen Elizabeth cocktail?

A champagne flute or any stemmed cocktail glass is typically used to serve this cocktail.

What can I pair with the Queen Elizabeth cocktail during a meal?

Given its rich and distinct taste, this cocktail pairs well with light appetizers, seafood, or even desserts.

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