Prince of Wales


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Welcome to the regal world of the Prince of Wales cocktail, a luxurious blend that combines the boldness of rye whiskey with the effervescence of Champagne. This classic cocktail is steeped in history and sophistication, making it a perfect choice for those special occasions. Let’s dive into the rich flavors and storied past of this noble drink.

The Prince of Wales cocktail is a symphony of flavors, with the spiciness of rye whiskey harmonizing with the sweetness of maraschino liqueur. The effervescence of Champagne adds a celebratory note, while the Angostura bitters bring a complex depth. It’s a cocktail that has graced the finest tables and sparked the interest of connoisseurs worldwide.

Whether you’re toasting to a significant milestone or simply indulging in a moment of luxury, the Prince of Wales cocktail is sure to elevate the experience. Join us as we explore the key facts, history, and preparation of this exquisite drink.

Key Facts About the Prince of Wales Cocktail

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 15% ABV
  • Calories: Roughly 150 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: A chilled Champagne flute to preserve the bubbles and enhance the aroma
  • Typical Garnish: A twist of orange peel and an optional pineapple chunk for a tropical touch

Interesting Facts about the Prince of Wales Cocktail

The Prince of Wales cocktail is not just a drink, but a piece of history. Named after the title given to the heir apparent of the British throne, it has been enjoyed by aristocrats and commoners alike. Its versatility makes it suitable for a pre-dinner aperitif or a toast to a momentous occasion.

Did you know that the inclusion of Champagne in the cocktail is a nod to the opulence associated with royalty? This sparkling wine elevates the drink, making it a symbol of celebration and grandeur.

Prince of Wales Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Prince of Wales cocktail offers a rich tapestry of flavors that will delight the palate of any discerning drinker. The rye whiskey provides a robust foundation with its spicy and fruity notes, while the maraschino liqueur adds a hint of cherry sweetness.

Champagne brings a refreshing and crisp dimension, with its bubbles creating a lively texture. The Angostura bitters contribute a subtle herbal undertone, balancing the sweetness and tying all the flavors together.

This cocktail is ideal for those who appreciate a drink with depth and complexity. It’s perfect for celebrations, intimate gatherings, or as a sophisticated accompaniment to a fine meal.

History of the Prince of Wales Cocktail

The origins of the Prince of Wales cocktail are as intriguing as its flavor profile. This storied drink dates back to the 19th century, where it first gained popularity among the elite. It’s said to have been a favorite of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII.

The cocktail’s association with royalty and its luxurious ingredients quickly made it a symbol of high society. Over the years, it has maintained its status as a drink of distinction, enjoyed by those who appreciate the finer things in life.

As with many classic cocktails, the Prince of Wales has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Modern mixologists have embraced its rich heritage, ensuring that this royal concoction continues to be celebrated in bars and homes around the world.

Prince of Wales Ingredients

  • Sugar Cube (4 grams / 0.14 ounces): Adds sweetness and helps balance the bitters.
  • Angostura Bitters (0.5ml / 0.01 ounces): Provides a complex herbal flavor and depth.
  • Rye Whiskey (30ml / 1 ounce): The backbone of the cocktail, offering spicy and fruity notes.
  • Maraschino Liqueur (7.5ml / 0.25 ounce): Introduces a subtle cherry sweetness.
  • Chilled Champagne (30ml / 1 ounce): Adds effervescence and a celebratory feel.
  • Orange Peel: Aromatic oils from the peel enhance the drink’s nose and flavor.
  • Pineapple Chunk (optional): Serves as a tropical garnish, adding both visual appeal and a fruity note.

Did you know? The Prince of Wales cocktail’s blend of Champagne and whiskey reflects a fusion of French and British tastes, symbolizing a cross-cultural appreciation for fine spirits.

Prince of Wales Cocktail Ingredients

Prince of Wales Method

Preparing the Glass

Begin by chilling a Champagne flute to ensure the drink stays cool and the Champagne retains its effervescence. A cold glass also enhances the aromatic experience.

Building the Base

Place a sugar cube at the bottom of the flute. Saturate it with a dash of Angostura bitters, allowing the cube to absorb the herbal flavors.

Adding the Spirits

Pour in the rye whiskey and maraschino liqueur over the bitters-soaked sugar cube. This creates the flavorful foundation of the cocktail.

The Champagne Finish

Top the mixture with chilled Champagne, filling the glass. The bubbles will help mix the ingredients, but a gentle stir ensures the sugar dissolves completely.

Garnishing with Flair

Express the oil from the orange peel over the drink to release its aroma, then drop it into the glass. If desired, add a pineapple chunk on the rim for an extra touch of elegance.

Serving Suggestion

The Prince of Wales cocktail is traditionally served in a Champagne flute. This tall, slender glass showcases the drink’s effervescence and concentrates the aroma for a more intense olfactory experience.

Garnishes play a crucial role in the presentation and flavor of the cocktail. The orange peel adds a citrusy zest, while the optional pineapple chunk introduces a tropical note and visual appeal.

Elevating the Prince of Wales

  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality rye whiskey and genuine maraschino liqueur to ensure the best flavor profile.
  • Champagne Selection: Choose a dry Champagne to complement the sweetness of the other ingredients without overpowering them.
  • Proper Technique: Stirring gently is key to integrating the flavors without losing the Champagne’s carbonation.

For an extra luxurious touch, consider using a sugar cube soaked in a rare or aged bitters. This can add an additional layer of complexity to the drink.

Elevated Prince of Wales Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Prince of Wales

If rye whiskey is not available, a smooth bourbon can be a suitable substitute, though it will alter the flavor profile slightly. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic version, a sparkling grape juice can replace Champagne, and a non-alcoholic spirit can stand in for the whiskey.

Similar cocktails that share the same regal spirit include the Classic Champagne Cocktail and the Whiskey Sour. Both offer a balance of sweetness, acidity, and spirit-forward taste.

Add a Twist

Consider infusing the sugar cube with a different type of bitters, such as orange or chocolate, to introduce new flavor notes. Another twist could be adding a splash of elderflower liqueur for a floral sweetness that complements the Champagne.

For a seasonal variation, muddle fresh berries at the bottom of the glass before adding the other ingredients. This adds a fresh and fruity dimension to the cocktail.

Preferred Liquors for the Prince of Wales

When crafting the Prince of Wales cocktail, selecting a rye whiskey with a robust flavor profile is essential. Brands like Rittenhouse or Sazerac offer the spiciness and complexity that the cocktail demands.

For the Champagne, a Brut from a reputable house such as Moët & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot ensures the necessary dryness and quality. The maraschino liqueur should be authentic, with Luxardo being the gold standard.

Similar Cocktails to the Prince of Wales

If you enjoy the Prince of Wales, you might also appreciate the French 75, which combines gin, Champagne, and lemon for a tart and bubbly experience. The Manhattan, while lacking Champagne, shares the whiskey base and offers a similarly sophisticated taste.

The Old Fashioned is another whiskey-based cocktail that, like the Prince of Wales, uses a sugar cube and bitters to create a timeless drink enjoyed by many.

Food Pairings to go with the Prince of Wales

Classic pairings with the Prince of Wales cocktail include canapés and caviar, which match the drink’s elegance. For a modern twist, try pairing it with spicy Asian appetizers to contrast the cocktail’s sweetness.

For a more casual affair, gourmet popcorn or artisanal cheeses can provide a delightful balance to the cocktail’s rich flavors.

Prince of Wales FAQs

Can I use Prosecco instead of Champagne? While Prosecco can be used, it will change the flavor profile due to its sweeter taste and different bubble structure.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Prince of Wales? Yes, non-alcoholic spirits and sparkling grape juice can be used as substitutes for a sober rendition of the cocktail.

What’s the best time to serve this cocktail? The Prince of Wales is versatile, perfect for a celebratory toast or as a sophisticated pre-dinner drink.

How can I make the cocktail sweeter? Adjusting the amount of maraschino liqueur or using a sweeter Champagne can increase the sweetness.

Can I prepare the Prince of Wales in advance? It’s best served fresh due to the Champagne, but you can pre-mix the whiskey, liqueur, and bitters, adding Champagne when ready to serve.

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Prince of Wales Cocktail

A royal and classic cocktail, the Prince of Wales is a sophisticated blend of rye whiskey, Champagne, and a touch of maraschino liqueur, accented with a twist of orange peel and a dash of Angostura bitters. This regal drink is perfect for special occasions or when you want to indulge in a bit of luxury.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine British
Calories 150 kcal


  • Champagne flute
  • Bar spoon


  • 1 cube sugar (4 grams / 0.14 ounces)
  • 1 small dash Angostura bitters (0.5ml / 0.01 ounces)
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey (30ml / 1 ounce)
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (7.5ml / 0.25 ounce)
  • 1 ounce chilled Champagne (30ml / 1 ounce)
  • 1 piece fresh orange peel
  • 1 chunk fresh pineapple optional for garnish


  • Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled champagne flute.
  • Add a dash of Angostura bitters onto the sugar cube.
  • Pour in the rye whiskey and maraschino liqueur.
  • Fill the rest of the glass with chilled Champagne.
  • Gently stir to ensure the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Express the oil from the orange peel over the drink and drop it in as garnish.
  • If desired, add a fresh pineapple chunk on the rim of the glass for an additional garnish.


The Prince of Wales is a cocktail with a history dating back to the 19th century. It is named after the title traditionally given to the heir apparent to the British throne. It's a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed before dinner or as a celebratory toast.
Keyword Angostura Bitters, Champagne Cocktail, Classic Cocktail, Luxury Drink, Maraschino Liqueur, Prince of Wales Cocktail, Rye Whiskey, Special Occasion

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