Working in a hospital, we talk a lot about booze but the only things we drink at work are non-alcoholic. We drink out of coffee and tea mugs. And avoid specimen glasses.
We have decided how we will celebrate the Platinum’ Jubilee this summer.
With sparkling tea.
Natalie Winkworth-Smith, nee Xiao Nan Natalie Chiu, likes to drink tea from a flute.
The Nottingham University graduate has released Eight Immortals –the latest addition to her range of limited edition, gourmet, no-alcohol sparkling teas. She is the UK’s only commercial sparkling tea maker.
The new Champagne-like tea features Oolong tea, grown 1000 metres above sea-level in Tian Liao village on Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong province.
Saicho’s three food-friendly signature flavours – Darjeeling, Hojicha ( made with roasted Sencha green tea) and Jasmine (Fujian province green tea) –are also available from Saicho’s website and select stockists. They are already served at The Dorchester, Darjeeling, Portman Square’s Nobel Hotel and Victoria’s Lorne restaurants.
Saicho is named after a Buddhist monk. The Eight Immortals celebrates a Daoist parable.
In 805, the monk Saicho returned to Japan from a Buddhist retreat in Tang China. With him he brought, not only, the knowledge of a strange and exotic drink that the Chinese monks would use to prolong and enhance their lengthy meditation sessions but also the source of this mysterious drink – tea seeds.
Armed with this key meditational aid, Saicho founded the Tendai school of Buddhism. The Emperor Saga, on a visit to Saicho’s Sofukufi temple had one taste and loved it so much he immediately ordered tea trees to be planted in provinces all over Japan.
So that’s the week days sorted. What about the evenings and the weekend?
As well as a new 50 pence coin, a Bank Holiday, pageants, national moments of reflection, a RAF fly past, gun salutes, a special Trooping the Colour featuring 1400 parading soldiers and 200 horses, a beacon lit all round the country, a concert at Buckingham Palace and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, to further celebrate Her Majesty Elizabeth 11’s historic Platinum Jubilee you can toast the world’s longest-serving monarch with some new luxury special occasion drinks.
Waitrose has released a Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne. To mark her seventy-year reign, the English Whisky Company has launched The English Royal Platinum Jubilee single malt made from “the finest oak casks.”
Taylor’s Very Very Old Tawny Port was created with wines aged from the time Queen Elizabeth was crowned. The component wines were individually selected and blended by Taylor’s blenders.
The £350 limited edition Taylor’s Platinum Jubilee Very Very Old Tawny Port is presented in the classic frosted Taylor’s Aged Tawny bottle and comes in a beech wood box.
The port is being released in a limited edition of 2,000 bottles and will be available in fine wine merchants beginning in April. It is priced at £350.
The UK’s s oldest winemaker, London’s Berry Bros & Rudd, has launched a limited-edition Good Ordinary Claret for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A proportion of sale profits will be donated to The Queen’s Green Canopy and Woodland Heritage Trust by the merchant, a Royal Warrant holder.
Only 10,000 bottles of the limited-edition Good Ordinary Claret will be released. The label has been designed by British printmaker and illustrator Tom Frost, and features a screen-printed blossoming tree within a wine glass. The bottles have also all been produced capsule-free in order to help reduce waste and the environmental impact.
Fortnum and Mason (est.1707) has brought out a commemorative sparkling wine.
Buckingham Palace also announced that Queen’s charitable Royal Collection Trust is releasing her own English sparkling wine. A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier, the Platinum Jubilee Special Edition En is made exclusively from fruit grown and hand-picked in vineyards in Kent and West Sussex.
The label design takes inspiration from the gold embroidery on Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate, worn on Coronation Day, June 2, 1953. A crowned EIIR cypher is surrounded by golden olive leaves and ears of wheat to symbolize peace and plenty.
Whitley Neill has brought out its Platinum Jubilee Gin. Last year, the Queen launched Ballochbuie gin, distilled at her Balmoral estate and royal residence in Scotland. The official Platinum Jubilee weekend ( June 2-5) coincides with the Epsom Derby.
As special edition jams, two of the UK’s most popular condiments have also been given a commemorative makeover ahead of all the festivities.
Heinz has also announced their brown sauce and salad cream will be renamed ‘HM Sauce’ and ‘Salad Queen’.
Morrison’s has paid its own tribute with its Clarence the Corgi cake.