In line with our nautical and royal history, Downton Distillery was very proud to be able to participate in The Kings Cup regatta. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted this inaugural regatta to raise awareness and funds for eight of Their Royal Highnesses’ patronages, with the historic gold cup, first presented by King George V at Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920, being awarded to Tusk and collected on the charity’s behalf by Bear Grylls who captained the boat.
Downton Distillery was asked to mark this event by creating a welcome cocktail specifically for this inaugural regatta, to be called The Kings Cup Cocktail. We held an informal contest among the head barmen from some of our renown clients, and after a great deal of debate and tastings we chose a cocktail that was to be served in antique tumblers with Pamplemousse Rose and fresh Lime juice being the main ingredients to add to our Explorer’s Gin - delightfully refreshing with a beautiful pinkish hue. The full recipe is being kept under wraps!
The event took place on the Isle of Wight, and saw The Duke and Duchess go head to head as skippers of individual sailing boats (Fast40’s) in an eight-boat regatta race. Each boat had a celebrity ambassador and captain onboard, with others taking part including historian Dan Snow, England Women’s footballer Fara Williams, comedian John Bishop, Olympic rower Helen Glover, CBBC presenter Katie Thistleton and outdoor specialist Bear Grylls.
The first race started 30 minutes late after two recalls due to false starts (nerves?!), and in the second race, all but one of the boats were recalled yet again for crossing the starting line early, and one was disqualified for not going back to start again – the Duchess’s boat..! Despite the starts that kept the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Race Officer’s busy, the racing was competitive and the teams battled it out in the two short races, with the historic trophy being awarded to Tusk, with London’s Air Ambulance coming in close second, and Child Bereavement UK and Centrepoint awarded joint third place. The Royal Foundations Early Years programme won the Wooden Spoon for eight place.
Following the day of the water, the excitement continued at a gala dinner held in the RYS where all crew and guests were greeted on arrival with our welcome cocktail, The Kings Cup Cocktail, and throughout the night with other Explorer’s Gin cocktails from our bar – needless to say, the Kings Cup Cocktail remained the most popular tipple served that night!