Tomorrow is Queen Elizabeth II’s official 95th birthday celebrations, and it also happens to be World Gin Day! Sadly, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the usual Trooping the Colour event will not be taking place to honour the Queen, but a smaller birthday parade will be taking place at Windsor Castle, instead.
We might not be able to line London’s streets, but there’s nothing to say we can’t celebrate in our gardens – or living rooms if the weather stays as unpredictable as it has been!
The Queen’s reign
Whatever your thoughts may be on the British monarchy, it’s hard to deny that Queen Elizabeth II is a remarkable woman. She’s the longest-reigning British monarch, and is rivalling only three men ahead of her for the title of longest-reigning monarch in history outside of the UK, who currently hold slightly longer reigns.
During her reign she’s seen a catastrophic mining disaster, the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the admission of the UK to the EU – and later, the exit of the UK from the same union – the Chernobyl disaster, numerous terrorist attacks, and a global health pandemic. It’s safe to say she’s experienced more than her fair share of historic events while she’s been on the throne.
With this record it’s easy to forget that, originally, she was never even supposed to have become Queen, being the daughter of King Edward VIII’s younger brother. When she became Queen aged 27, I doubt she could fathom the future that lay ahead of her.
Two of Britain’s favourite things
It seems fitting that the Queen’s official birthday should fall on World Gin Day. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest monarchs, and is loved by so many Brits, so for her birthday celebrations to coincide with a day that celebrates one of Britain’s favourite drinks, feels serendipitous.
Pimm’s is one of the drinks that is most widely associated with summer in Britain, but a lesser-known fact is that Pimm’s is a gin-based spirit drink! So, 12 June really does feel like the joining together of two of Britain’s great institutions, and it’s a great excuse to make up your own pitcher of Pimm’s this weekend!
If you’re not mad about the monarchy, World Gin Day is still well worth celebrating! You can stick with the classic combinations, or get creative and try making your favourite gin-based cocktails instead.
Another way to celebrate is to invite some friends over and ask everyone to bring their favourite bottle of gin, and set up a tasting session for each one, paired with its perfect tonic and garnish. You never know, you might just find your new favourite drink!
Celebrating at Oakam
Here at Oakam we love any excuse to celebrate, and we make an effort to commemorate as many of the significant days in the year as we can. Our team is very diverse, with members from a broad range of different cultures across the world, so it’s an incredibly important part of our company culture that we make an effort to celebrate all days of significance, for all members of staff.
This time, we celebrated the events a little early with a Zoom social involving our favourite gin cocktails and chats about Britain’s great monarch. We all dressed for the occasion, either as our best impression of the Queen herself, or as if we were going to Buckingham Palace to meet the royals. It was definitely a memorable Zoom event!
Tomorrow, make sure to raise a freshly poured G&T, or a glass of Pimm’s, to celebrate our great monarch and a day dedicated to gin (or something soft if that’s your preference). After the last year, we all deserve a little celebration. And a happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth II!