Queen Charlotte Cocktail

Yet another Baker drink with a tropically inspired name! This one is named after Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands, which itself was named after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel, queen consort to the Danish King Christian V. Yep, Denmark had at least one colony in the Virgin Islands. Who knew? Today it appears that the city and its gorgeous colonial buildings are completely overrun by cruise ships and duty-free shopping. I’m guessing the modern-day cocktails kinda suck, too.

Only in the world of Charles H. Baker, Jr., would a drink that features up to 6 ounces of red wine be identified as one “for them as likes their likker weak” and “of a mildness which even a Quaker miss could not shy at!” I am, however, prepared to endorse Baker’s assertion that it’s a “lovely warm weather affair.” To wit:

  • 2 to 3 jiggers claret or Burgundy (5 oz Clos du Val 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 scant pony raspberry syrup (3/4 oz grenadine)
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon (3/4 oz lime juice)
  • Lemon soda (Fever Tree Bitter Lemon)

In a Collins glass half-filled with crushed ice, add the wine, raspberry syrup, and lime or lemon juice. Top up with lemon soda, and garnish with a mint sprig.

This was a truly excellent cooler that deserves a place near sangria in the Pantheon of modern beverages. The Queen Charlotte Cocktail could easily have been too sweet, and in Baker’s original formulation, I suspect it was. But the slightly toned-down portion of raspberry syrup (well, grenadine), along with the snap from the bitter lemon soda, points it up enough to rescue it. I can imagine that 1/2 oz of grenadine might work even better than 3/4 oz.

Enjoy one of these if you’re reading this post in the summertime, which in San Francisco is scheduled for this Thursday from 4:33 p.m. to 4:37 p.m. Don’t miss it!

Queen Charlotte Cocktail:  ★★★★★ 

3 Responses to “Queen Charlotte Cocktail”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I have a friend who lives there so I obviously need to have one of these.

  2. Max says:

    Cool recipe, I love the drink! Thanks!

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Jeff

    This sounds so great ! I’m a crazy sangria fan, and this is a nod to it, but seems both more sophisticated and that it could made on the fly, in smaller quantities than sangria. The raspberry syrup though – grenadine seems too sweet and its flavor doesn’t say raspberry to me. Do you think a homemade raspberry syrup would work is the grenadine really the best? Also, the lemon soda, do you have a source for that brand?

    Thank you for your posts! I just found your website and I love making cocktails (that’s what I’m assigned to bring to any party) to I will be checking back frequently !

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