The Queen is preparing to spend her first Christmas without her late husband Prince Philip, and will instead be joined by her son, Prince Charles, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall among a small group of guests. But what festive drinks will be served around the table at Windsor Castle this year?
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Her Majesty is known to be a big fan of the 'Zaza' cocktail – otherwise known as a Gin and Dubonnet. According to former royal chef Darren McGrady, who worked for the royal family for 15 years, the glamorous French aperitif is her absolute "favourite drink". There is a sweet tradition behind her choice of tipple, since the drink is said to have been a favourite of the Queen Mother's, too.
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Dubonnet Rouge Grand Aperitif is a French drink made from a blend of red wine, herbs and spices. The Queen is said to take the cocktail as two parts Dubonnet to one part gin, with a slice of lemon and lots of ice.
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We found instructions on how to make the drink on the Dubonnet website. To make the drink, "Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Serve up in a Nick & Nora glass or rocks glass. Garnish with an orange swath."
We can just picture the monarch sipping on her Zaza cocktail during the royals' annual festivities, which are traditionally held at Sandringham, the Queen's Norfolk estate.
The Queen is partial to a Gin and Dubonnet cocktail
This year, however, Queen Elizabeth will be spending Christmas in Windsor, joined by close family.
The monarch also cancelled her traditional pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle, where she was set to host members of the extended family. At the time, royal sources stated that while there is "regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief that it is the right thing to do for all concerned."
Dubonnet Rouge Grand Aperitif is a French drink
With the celebrations scaled down, we wonder whether the Queen's choice of drinks will be affected? The monarch is also reportedly a fan of other beverages over the festive period.
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Royal expert Ingrid Seward previously offered an insight into the Queen's drinks of choice on Christmas Eve.
Speaking on Channel 5 documentary, Sandringham: The Queen at Christmas, she said: "I think the Queen likes a martini, other people would rather have champagne. Prince Philip... always used to drink pale ale."
And on Christmas Day, the Queen reportedly enjoyed drinking Gewürztraminer, an aromatic white wine.
Champagne Lanson, from £34, Amazon
And when it comes to champagne, Her Majesty is said to prefer Bollinger champagne, but only nine champagne houses hold a royal warrant, otherwise known as the royal stamp of approval. The others are; GH Mumm, Krug, Champagne Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Champagne Louis Roederer, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger et Cie.
The HELLO! team are big fans of Lanson - so treat yourself to a bottle of bubbly this Christmas.
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