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Queen's third gin launched with ingredients from her Northern Irish palace

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Queen Elizabeth II attends a reception for winners of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, at Buckingham Palace on July 11, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II at a reception for winners of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, at Buckingham Palace in 2017. (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She is known to enjoy a gin and Dubonnet cocktail once the working day is done at the palace.

And the Queen can have her pick of palace gins, as a third royal gin has been launched, made with ingredients from one of her gardens.

The Hillsborough Castle edition Shortcross gin is available through Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the Queen’s Northern Irish palace, as well as Kensington Palace and the Tower of London.

The gin has been made by Rademon Estate Distillery with ingredients from the garden at the palace, the first collaboration between the craft gin distillery and the HRP.

But those keen to try the tipple will have to move quickly, as only 400 bottles have been made.

The gin is described as a “limited edition botanical gin” featuring “rose petals handpicked from the Queen's Granville Rose Garden at Hillsborough Castle”.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 14:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Secretary of State's annual Garden party at Hillsborough Castle on June 14, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  (Photo by UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a Garden party at Hillsborough Castle in 2016 in Belfast. (UK Press Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meeting First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle on September 30, 2020 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Press Eye - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles with First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle in September 2020. (Press Eye - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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It adds: “Blended with apples and pears foraged from the 18th century Walled Garden, the final recipe is reminiscent of summer rose gardens with a long, sweet citrus and smooth oily finish.”

It’s the third royally-linked gin to emerge during the lockdown, with a Buckingham Palace gin for sale via the Royal Collection Trust, and a Norfolk gin via her Sandringham Estate.

The RCT, which manages the summer opening of the London palace as well as Windsor Castle, launched the Buckingham Palace boozy beverage in June 2020, made with ingredients from the Queen’s garden.

According to the RCT: “Lemon, verbena, hawthorn berries and mulberry leaves are among the 12 botanicals hand-picked for the gin in the Gardens at Buckingham Palace, which span 16 hectares and provide a habitat for 30 species of bird and over 250 species of wild flower.”

The gin sold out within eight hours, but was restocked by palace staff.

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The Buckingham Palace gin caught the attention of gin-peddler and actor Ryan Reynolds who jokingly shared an invoice for a pre-order of the spirit.

He humorously accused the Queen of ‘oneupmanship’ as he pretended to send a bottle to Sir Paul McCartney.

A gin featuring botanics from the Queen’s Sandringham home was launched in November 2020.

The home, in Norfolk, is different to the other royal houses as it is the private property of the Queen rather than the crown.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 24:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES) In this handout image provided by Harrison Photography, Queen Elizabeth II pictured with the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers (L) planting a tree at a Garden Party in Hillsborough Castle on June 24, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Royal party are visiting Northern Ireland for three days.  (Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography via Getty Images)
The Queen with then-Secretary of State Theresa Villiers planting a tree at a Garden Party in Hillsborough Castle in June 2014. (Simon Graham/Harrison Photography)

The drink is made with Sharon fruit, grown in the walled garden, and myrtle plants which “originated from a cutting taken from Princess Alexandra’s wedding bouquet on her marriage to Prince Albert Edward, who later became King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra”.

Earlier this week the RCT confirmed it was looking to borrow more money having suffered a huge drop in income because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The RCT makes its money from ticket sales and shop purchases, both of which have been severely cut during the lockdowns.

Sandringham is also closed during the lockdown.