With fans tuning in to follow the exploits of the Earl of Grantham and his household in an astonishing 250 territories across the globe, and estimated viewing figures of around 120 million, Downton Abbey has left a lasting impact on many areas of popular culture. It has even been charged with driving record sales of gin in the US, which some spectators put down to the weekly sight of the sublimely elegant Lady Mary sipping on her cocktails as she navigates the various upstairs-downstairs dramas of her ancestral home.
While most of us can only dream of donning a diamond tiara to a four-course banquet with royalty, we can at least recreate a few of the delicious tipples that Lady Mary and her sisters might have enjoyed at one of their famous balls! Below are the recipes for three of our favourite gin cocktail recipes from the 1920s that can be easily made from the comfort of our 21st-century living rooms: a French 75, a Dubonnet cocktail, and a Martinez.
Now, whether you can convince your partner/best friend/housemate to serve them on a silver tray in a manner befitting Mr Carson is down to you!
15ml lemon juice
15ml simple syrup
Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for about five seconds. Strain into a champagne flute and top with ice cold Champagne or sparkling wine for one of the best ways to kick off a dinner.
Dubonnet & Gin Cocktail
2 parts Dubonnet
1 part gin
Add three cubes of ice to your tumbler or wine glass. Pour in your dubonnet (pronounced ‘doo-bon-ay’) and gin, then stir gently for 20 seconds. Garnish with a slice or twist of lemon.
Fun fact: This 1920s cocktail is reportedly the Queen’s favourite tipple!
20ml sweet vermouth
10ml Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients over lots of ice for about 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry and an orange twist. For a festive twist, add a pinch of ground mixed spice before mixing.
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