Cocktails, cruising, and the Queen, anyone?
One of the many memory-making experiences on luxury barges is the nightly cocktail party. Delectable hors d’oeuvres and specialty mixed drinks are served by the crew in salon or on the deck, enticing guests to socialize with friends both old and new.
Among these are owner-operators Chef Matthew and Host David of the 3-star barge Elisabeth, who honed their hospitality skills as barge owners on the Royal River Thames in Great Britain. Now sailing the Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy, France, passengers on their charming six passenger vessel are treated to a bit of British sensibility delightfully aligned with a French cocktail cruise.
One of David and Matthew’s exclusive mixed drinks is an homage to none other than Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. “The Queen’s favorite concoction is believed to be a Dubonnet and Gin over ice with a twist,” explains Host David. “Building on these ingredients, we created the HMQ cocktail and named it after the colloquial abbreviation for ‘Her Majesty the Queen.'”
And just how did Host David and Chef Matthew come to create this cross-Channel concoction worthy of a Queen…? In their own words:
“Our home mooring was in Windsor and almost every Sunday we would cruise past Home Park, which is essentially the backyard garden of Windsor Castle. Thrillingly, we would regularly see the Queen and Prince Philip enjoying the Castle’s grounds on a weekend’s afternoon; the Queen on horseback and Prince Philip driving his carriage. This Royal sighting clearly delighted our guests and inspired us to bring a touch of Britain to the French canals,” Matthew laughs.
Although British in provenance, the HMQ is crafted only using ingredients associated with France’s botanical bounty: Dubonnet, Lillet Rose, Crème de Cassis, and Cremant de Bourgogne. Cheers to David and Matthew, the barge Elisabeth, and, of course, the HMQ!
Many thanks to Chef Matthew and Host David of the barge Elisabeth, who shared the recipe which will enable you to make — and toast! — the HMQ right in your own living room.
BARGE ELISABETH’S THE HMQ
- 1 oz Dubonnet
- 1 oz Lillet Rosé
- .5 oz Crème de Cassis
- splash of Crémant de Bourgogne
- strawberry (ideally Royal Sovereign variety)
- Shake the first three ingredients with ice
- Double strain in to a chilled coupe glass
- Top a splash of with Crémant de Bourgogne
- Garnish with a strawberry (or a slice if using Royal Sovereign as fruits are large)
- Drink whilst enjoying the sunset on a beautiful summer’s evening on the terrace of the barge Elisabeth
For more delicious insight into the cocktail offerings on the Elisabeth, click here.
To book your own cocktail cruise on the Elisabeth, contact Barge Lady Cruises here.