Classic Cocktail – The Prince of Wales

The very young Prince of Wales, Albert Edward.


By Simon McGoram
Photography by Rob Palmer

*Drink shot at Dry Land Bar (Sydney) and excellently styled by Simon McGoram

Queen Victoria remains the longest reigning British monarch and indeed the longest reigning female monarch the world has ever had the pleasure to see. During Victoria’s tenure the British Empire was at its strongest with India, Canada, Australian, New Zealand and more under Britain’s Dominion. But as bartenders we also know of another benevolent power that was spreading its influence at this time from across the Atlantic – a power that influenced the heir to the throne himself. It was of course the cocktail.

Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was heir apparent to the throne for longer than any of his predecessors – his dear old mum just wouldn’t cark it. With little to do, but womanise and wile away his time it was inevitable that he would develop a taste for drink – the Queen be damned if she wasn’t amused!

Berty wasn’t any old imbiber, however, he also had a penchant for mixing drinks as is evident with this potation bearing his title.  David Wondrich goes as far as to muse in his book Imbibe! that “If circumstances had been different, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, would have made a hell of a bartender.”

The genius of the prince’s invention lies in the addition of Champagne which by the 1880s was being splashed about in almost every potion in bar rooms with any pretension of refinement. At any rate here’s how to whip up this royal number which first appeared in print in 1901 in The Private Life of King Edward VII:

The Prince of Wales

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  • 45ml Straight rye whiskey
  • Dash of maraschino liqueur
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 Piece of fresh pineapple
  • 30ml Brut NV Champagne

Muddle a small piece of fresh pineapple in the base of your shaker. Add your other ingredients excluding the Champagne. Shake as if the Empire depends on it and strain into a chilled coupette. Sabre off the top of a Champagne bottle and add a splash to your creation. Raise a toast to the Queen and enjoy.

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