Drinking the Bubbly on Queen Mary 2

Part III - Life on the Ocean Wave

C. Drinking the Bubbly on QM2

For the History Buff - A Brief History of Cocktails and Cunard

This history lesson was supposed to be five pages long but we tried to cut it in half:

1806 - A New York Newspaper responding to a question posed by a reader stated, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirit of any kind, sugar, water, bitters - it is vulgarly called a bitter sling and it is supposed to be an excellent engineering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head… a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.” This is the first recorded use of the word Cocktail.

1839 - The British North American Royal Mail Stream to carry Royal Mail to the US and Canada was established by Samuel Cunard.

1840 - The first transatlantic service of Samuel Cunard’s first ship, Britannia, the 1154-ton paddle steamer leaves Halifax, Nova Scotia for Liverpool, England. This is the same year, James Primm created the gin with a zing, called Primm’s No. 1.

1874 - A Manhattan Club barman in New York, created the Manhattan for Sir Winston Churchill’s mother.

1912 - The first ship to arrive and rescue all the survivors from Titanic is Carpathia.

1915 - Singapore Sling was created by a barman at Raffles Hotel. He intended it to appeal to women so he tinted it pink.

1921 - Harry’s Bar in Paris invented the Bloody Mary, originally called “Buckets of Blood”.

1922 - The first ship to offer a world cruise is Laconia.

1925 - Through his novel, ’The Great Gatsby’ F. Scott Fitzgerald, himself a Cunard traveller, made the Mint Julep fashionable.

1933 - UKBG (The United Kingdom Bartender’s Guild) was created and President F. D. Roosebelt celebrated the end of Prohibition with a Martini.

1934 - Her Majesty Queen Mary launched Queen Mary in Clydebank, Scotland. Queen Mary is the first merchant vessel named for a Royal Family member. Cunarders used to christen ships by smashing a bottle of champagne across the bow but when Queen Mary was launched Cunard selected a bottle of Australian wine as a gesture to the king as British Empire head.

1938 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth launched Queen Elizabeth in Clydebank, Scotland with Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in attendance.

1939 - The British Government requisitioned Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth to transport over 1.5 million troops all over the world as a result of which Sir Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Queens for having helped shorten World War II by at least a year.

1947 - Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth started regular Transatlantic Service.

1948 - Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice created the Bellini called after the pink tones used by the famous Renaissance painter.

1960s - The rising of spirits with beers, mixers and wine appreciation put the traditional Martini to one side. President Kennedy declared The Daiquiri to be his favourite cocktail and so it became fashionable.

1967 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II launched Queen Elizabeth 2 in Clydebank, Scotland with His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret in attendance.

1969 - Queen Elizabeth 2, also affectionately known as QE2 started service.

1974 - When turbine trouble left QE2 passengers without water stranded at sea, Cunard Line solved the problem with unlimited champagne. Some even had a close shave in it.

1977 - Princess Grace of Monaco christened the Cunard Princess in New York. ”May God bless this ship and all who sail in her!”

1980s - Martini was re-discovered and has been seen as an icon in the cocktail world. This was the time when cocktails became known as Martinis and the Bartenders became acknowledged as Mixologists.

1990s - A large quantity of new cocktails appeared and the Martini developed into what appeared to be unlimited flavours, exploding a new movement in bars all over the world. Cocktails went through a revival thanks partly to the Happy Hour

2000 - Cunard ordered to build the largest, tallest, longest and most expensive liner in the world at 150,000 tons with the name, Queen Mary 2.

2004 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II named Queen Mary 2 on January 12 at the ship’s home port in Southampton. At this christening although Queen Elizabeth and QE2 were christened with wine, Cunard went back to using the traditional champagne for the launching of Queen Mary 2.

2006 - Manufacturers of Rum began positioning themselves against the Martini and introduced the Mojito and Caipirinha again. Flavours for this time-honoured favourite started coming in then.

2007 - In November, Cunard received Queen Victoria, a 90,000-ton liner from Fincantieri, its builder, in Venice, Italy. Though a sister to Queen Elizabeth, it’s not a duplicate. By December 10, it was named in Southampton by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall with His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in attendance.

2008 - Queen Elizabeth 2 is bought by Dubai and we saw it docked there. It is history’s longest serving Cunard ship.

2010 - Cunard received delivery of the third ship named Elizabeth with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II naming it on October 11 at the ship’s home port in Southampton. Cunard now has the youngest fleet in the cruise industry. We entered a new era with the Cunard Queens sailing and offering stylish environment in which to enjoy the new Cocktail era.

We just have to include the following as we got a laugh out of it. Dom Perignon was heard to say on his first taste of champagne, “I’m drinking the stars!” Not so Lily Bollinger, a manager of a champagne firm. This is what she had to say.

“I only drink champagne when I am happy, and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it when I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I’m thirsty.” Correct us if we are misinterpreting this to mean she drinks it all the time.

Can you blame her though? It is all in the specifics of this level of sparkling wines for a fine champagne shows the art of combining a variety of base wines to come up with the final bottling. And listen to this, each base wine has its own character and strong point yet the complete product is impeccably integrated.

No wonder Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne Clos d’Ambonnay 1998 costs $2549 a bottle, the most expensive we have found so far. A feeling of refinement challenges the power of this flawlessly integrated Champagne, with fresh tartness and fine-grained quality. At blind tasting, it scored 96.

Some famous people who have been seen accepting their drinks on Queen Mary 2 include Roger Moore, also known for his role as James Bond who has been seen accepting his favourite Martini on board. Clark Gable was also seen enjoying a drink with the purser and comedian Peter Cook entertaining fellow guests on Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary 2 Beverage Team Proudly PresentsTrue to the new era of the three Queens ploughing the waves with such elegance and offering a stylish environment to savour the new Cocktail Era as well, they have arranged the following events:

An Exclusive Event - Indulge in the full range of Veuve Clicquot (a brand of premium champagne), paired to perfection with a selection of canapés designed especially by the Executive Chef. Please inquire in the Champagne Bar for pricing.

The Art of Mixing Martinis - Join the group in the Commodore Club and learn the art of the Martini with a look into the past, present, and future of Cocktail Mixology. Learn the secrets of Martini-making from the expert mixologists. Sample all the creations and enjoy a glimpse into the exclusive world of Molecular Mixology.

Single Malt Whisky Tasting - Presented by our Commodore Club Bartenders/ Experience the world of Single Malts, tasting different styles.

Premium Vodka Tasting - Explore the exciting world of Vodka! Sample some of the World’s finest Vodkas; learn about their production and history while enjoying a wide range of styles! A selection of exclusive canapés designed by the Executive Chef compliment this premium tasting event.

At the Churchill’s Cigar Lounge, you can try some of their finest Cuban and Dominican cigars while enjoying the favourite Premium Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, or Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

There was a presentation on Queen Mary 2’s Women of Wine to get interested guests the chance to meet the lovely Lady Sommeliers as they introduce their favourite wines. The entertaining and educational event was hosted by the Chief Sommelier and the attendees had the chance to taste some of the finest wines from QM2 wine cellars.

Queen Mary 2 is Well Stocked We give you examples of how well stocked Queen Mary 2 is. For Gin, they have Beefeater, Tanqueray, Gordon’s, Hendrick’s, Tanqueray No. Ten, Bombay Sapphire and Beefeater 24. The taste of gin has been redefined for the new generation, to craft it outside all expectations, to sway the soul and seduce the palate.

For Vodka, they have Smirnoff, Ketel One, Stolichnaya, Absolut, Grey Goose, Belvedere, Chopin, Absolut Raspberri Vanilla, Kurant Pepper, and Grey Goose La Poire, L’Orange and Le Citron.

Their supply of bottled beers and ciders is extensive as well for they have Peroni, Heineken, Corona, Grolsch, Konig Pilsner, Hoegaarden White, Staropramen, Bass Pale Ale, John Smith’s Bitter, Guinness Draught, Budweiser, Spitfire Real Ale, Old Speckled Hen, Boddington’s Bitter, Amstel Light, Non-Alcoholic Beer, Strongbow Cider, Magner’s Cider, and Magner’s Pear.

They have Chardonnay, USA; Cunard Private Label, Pinot Grigio, USA; Cunard Private Label, Sauvignon Blanc, USA; Bourgogne Aligote, Domaine Roux Pere et Fils, France; Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand; Chablis, Vincent Dampt, France;

The Red Wine Selection includes Cunard Private Label, Merlot, USA; Cunard Private Label, Syrah, USA; Cunard Private Label, Cabernet Sauvignon, USA; Saam Heldersig, Shiraz Viognier, South Africa; Escudo Rojo, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Chile; Hunter’s, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand; and Chateau de Callac Graves, France.

The Rose Wine Selection also has Conto Vecchio delle Venesie; Beringer, White Zinfandel, USA; and Chateau d’Astros, Cote de Provence Rose, France while the Champagne and Sparkling Wine includes Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV, Veuve Clicquot Rose NV, Reims, France; Delamotte Brut, NV, Le Mesnil-Oger, France; Prosecco, Valdobbiadenne, Italy; and Dom Perignon, Epernay, France which was the only one not available when we checked this out.

Santa Margherita Prosecco’s elegant bubbles can bring shouts of approval to any event. Its subtle fruit tastes pair well with an array of dishes from appetizers to dessert. It is also good with light seafood and even spicy dishes. What is KIR, you asked? Well welcome to the club for we didn’t know this either but our research shows this French Cocktail is usually drunk before a snack or a meal as an aperitif. It is made with Crème de Cassis from Maison Briottet which is a Blackcurrant Liqueur and then topped with wine.

It is named after the Dijon mayor of Burgundy, Frank Kir, although before it was just called Blanc-Cassis. The wine used for this originally was Bourgogne Aligote from Burgundy and this is the wine they use on board. Frank Kir made this drink popular by offering it to his international guests.

The Kir Royale, for instance is a popular French cocktail combined with Crème de Cassis and a choice of French Sparkling Wine or Delamotte Brut NV Champagne. It is a perfect aperitif! It was one of the bartenders’ recommendations on March 15.

There are other sparklers as well like the Wild Hibiscus Royale, ‘Champagne’ Cocktail which was the 1899 New York Cocktail Competition winner, Red Beret which was created in Vancouver, B. C., Mimosa which was created in Ritz Hotel, Paris in 1925 and Harry’s Bellini.

Speaking of Wild Hibiscus Royale, this was first served at Dorchester Hotel in London. It combines Delamotte Brut, Hibiscus Syrup, mint and rose water all garnished with a Hibiscus flower while the Champagne Cocktail that originated in 1899 starts with Angostura soaked sugar cube, Cognac, Grand Marnier and finishes with Delamotte Brut NV Champagne.

Red Beret is an exciting twist of the Classic Champagne Cocktail. It combines Raspberri Vodka, Cognac, wild hibiscus syrup and French sparkling wine. They say it is a stylish way to start anyone’s legendary voyage on Queen Mary 2.

Originating in Venice, the legendary cocktail, Harry Bellini, combines peach puree and Italian Prosecco, A Venetian favourite. The Tropical Itch combines Absolut Vodka with Spiced Rum, mango puree and a dash of Maraschino Liqueur. It is shaken and served straight up.

For Aperitifs, Vermouth and Sherry drunk during Cocktail Hour to whet the appetite, Pernod, Aperol, Pimm’s, Campari; Dobonnet Red, Dubonnet White; Ricard; Lillet Red, Lillet White; Martini Rosso, Bianco, Dry; Harvey’s Bristol Cream; Tio Pepe; Then there’s Spritz Aperol and the Original Cobbler. Spritz Aperol is a favourite Italian aperitif combined with traditional Prosecco sparkling wine and topped with splash of soda water. ’Salute.’

MartiniHow Martini came about is a debate that will not go away. Many say that Martini, a cocktail waiter first mixed this in the late 19th century at New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel while others say it was first made in Martinez, California at Julio Richelieu’s Saloon in 1870. They still claim today that this is where Martini was born. No matter where its birthplace is, it has become an icon and drunk by such people as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill.

That said, there’s The Dry Martini Cocktail, other variants, the Gin Martini Cocktails, Vodka Martini Cocktails, and the New Age Martinis like Citrus Sunset, Tropical Itch, Shipwrecked, Sapphire Rose, Pometini, Cosmopolitan, Peach Melba.

Citrus Sunset is a new age Martini sure to excite the senses. It’s Smirnoff Vodka and Limoncello shaken with orange and cranberry juice. Shipwrecked is a new age martini created with Smirnoff Vodka and muddled with fresh mint leaves then shaken vigorously with pineapple juice and lemon mix. Sapphire Rose is an exciting twist on the all time Gin Martini mixed with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, a dash of grapefruit juice and garnished with a Maraschino Cherry.

The Cosmopolitan is a classic combination of Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and a freshly squeezed lime. This was made popular by the New York City set TV series ‘Sex and the City”. Peach Melba, the new age Martini is an absolute favourite sure to please with Absolut Vanilla, Peach Schnapps, Chambord and a dash of fresh cream. It is served straight up with a sugar rim.

Not mentioned above is the Appearance Martini which in 2008, a Queen Victoria bartender created and won the prestigious Bacardi Cruise Mixology Competition. Appearance takes its name from the combination of sour apple liqueur and Grey Goose La Poire muddled with mint and lime. Rum or RhumLord Byron says, “There’s naught no doubt so much the spirit calm, as rum and true religion.” Despite this pronouncement, Rum is often misunderstood and has a good reputation and steeped in tradition. It is one of the oldest spirits in the world.

During the Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, many could obtain liqueur secretly brought into the US by Rum Runners who got them from the West Indies and shipped them to the twelve mile line off the US Coast and so is out of the jurisdiction. Bootlegger’s boats will then take it to the mainland.

The rums available at Queen Mary 2 are Bacardi Light from Puerto Rico, Havana Club 3 years and 7 years from Cuba, El Dorado 15 years from Guyana, Sagatiba Cachaca from Brazil, Malibu Coconut and Mount Gay from Barbados, Captain Morgan’s Dark, Captain Morgan’s Spiced and Plantation Rum from Jamaica, Plantation Rum from Trinidad, Plantation Rum from Grenada, Plantation Rum from St. Lucia and Plantation Rum from Panama.

A lot of cocktails came from the rum Caipirinha, Mojito, and the Daiquiri which has become famous after it has been perfected by Constantino Ribalaigua with the watchful eye of Ernest Hemingway at Havana Cuba’s bar although some say it was created by Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer in a Cuban Village of Daiquiri. Apparently, he ran out of Gin.

The Original Caipirinha is a classic from Brazil muddled with fresh lime, sugar and Sagatiba Cachaca. The Elderflower Mojito is a classic created in Havana with an exciting twist. It combines three-year old Havana Club Rum muddled with fresh mint, lime and a dash of Elderflower Liqueur. The Tropical Caipirinha is a classic cocktail with a fresh fruit twist. It is tropical fruits muddled and infused with coconut rum and cachaca.

There’s also the Orange & Passion Fruit Mojito which is the original favourite of Ernest Hemingway with a tropical twist. It’s a mixture of Havana Club 3-year old Rum muddled with fresh mint leaves, limes, oranges and sugar with a dash of passion fruit puree.

The Pomegranate Mojito is an original classic cocktail that originated in Cuba with a truly unique twist. The addition of Patron Silver Tequila and Pomegranate Syrup along with all the other essentials combine to make this a favourite.

The Watermelon Daiquiri is a legendary cocktail with the addition of the Watermelon. It is shaken with 3-year old Havana Club Rum, triple sec and watermelon puree which guarantees it to become a classic.

Then there’s the Fuego Manzana that combines Havana Club three-year old Rum with fresh lime juice and a dash of chili sugar finished with a float of apple juice The “Fiery Apple” like the name suggests will add a kick to your day.

TequilaMade primarily in Tequila City, tequila is an agave-based spirit. Tequila has volcanic soil that suits the growing of Blue Agave. Mexican law says Tequila can only be produced in Jalisco and some restricted areas of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

This gave rise to quite a few cocktails like the Tequila Sunrise. The Pomegranate Ginger Cooler combines Patrol Silver Tequila with Pomegranate Syrup and Limoncello served tall with a charge of ginger beer. It’s a refreshing drink recommended by bartenders.

Margarita was created by a Dallas socialite Margaret Sames who at her holiday home in Acapulco concocted the drink in a party game. Then this in turn gave rise to the Original Margarita, Mango Margarita, and Pomegranate Margarita.

Mango Margarita combines Cuervo Gold Tequila and Grand Marnier shaken with fresh lime and lemon juices. Add some freshly muddled mango and serve in a sugar rimmed glass for an exciting twist on the original classic.

Pomegranate Margarita is a combination of Patron Silver Tequila, Pomegranate Syrup, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime juice. It is served in a sugar-rimmed glass making it an innovative variation on the original.

SoursThese were originally made with Brandy and thought of as first made in 1850. The sour works best with Whiskey but it is a democratic cocktail in the sense that almost any spirit can be used with it. It is so named because of the bite of half a lemon which is evident at first sip.

Other variations of the sour are Tennessee Sour, Lost in Translation and Cuban Cigar. Tennessee Sour is a mixture of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey shaken with fresh lemon and lime juices and served on the rocks while the Cuban Cigar is a combination of Amaretto Di Saronno and Havana Club 3-year old Rum shaken with lemon juice, making it a Cuban Classic.

Lost in Translation is a combination of a unique Japanese Whiskey Nikka from the Barrel and St. Germain Elderflower shaken with lemon and sugar to create a perfect balance.

CollinsThis drink is usually served tall in the summer. The original is called John Collins named after a Headwaiter at a London’s hotel and coffeehouse called Limmer from around 1790 to 1817. It became popular in the US in the 1880s when it was seen as a classy Gin Sling. After a cocktail waiter used Old Tom Gin, it became known as Tom Collins. Besides Tom and John Collins, another variation is Joe Collins.

There are Other Classics that are Original and InnovativeThey’re all available at Queen Mary 2, didn’t we say it’s well stocked? There are Raffles Singapore Sling which we sampled at the Long Bar at Raffles in Singapore where it was created and we were hooked, Mai Tai, Mint Julep, Old Fashioned Deluxe, Bloody Mary, Cuba Libre.

Singapore Sling is a legendary Cocktail that stood the test of time. It is a combination of Beefeater Gin, Cointreau, Cherry Liqueur, fresh lime and pineapple juices with a splash of Benedictine Liqueur.

Speaking of Mai Tai, it is a legendary Tiki drink using a combination of Light and Dark Rums, Amaretto, Apricot Brandy, Orange Curacao, lime and pineapple juice. It is built over ice and garnished with a pineapple wedge and cherry. Old Fashioned Deluxe is a combination of Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon stirred with an Angostura soaked sugar cube, cherry juice, orange and topped with soda water. It is quite an innovative favourite.

Mint Julep is a timeless classic prepared with Jim Beam Bourbon, mint and sugar, built over ice and gently stirred with soda water. Bloody Mary is a perfect way to start the day with Smirnoff Vodka gently stirred with tomato juice and just the right amount of spices while the Cuba Libre is an old time favourite built over ice with Havana Club 7-year old Rum, Coca cola and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Long CocktailsAmong these cocktails are Ginny Hendrick’s, Tower Guard, Blushing Duchess (a refreshing, simply delicious long drink with Grey Goose Vodka, muddled grapefruit wedges and a dash of Orange Curacao), Promegranate Ginger Cooler, Pear and Passion Fruit Caipiroska, Bombay Mary, Spiced Mule, Hendrick’s Fresca, Citrus Cooler, and Absolut Elegance which uses Absolute Raspberri Vodka, Apple Schnapps, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur and Cranberry Juice shaken and served tall. Spiced Mule can spice up your day with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, muddled Lime, Angostura Bitters and Ginger Beer.

Ginny Hendrick’s is a unique Scottish Gin distilled using cucumber to give a distinct flavour muddled with fresh lime, mint and of course cucumber. It is topped with soda water and a dash of Elderflower Liqueur. Tower Guard is a new addition to the Cunard family with Beefeater Gin, Blackberry Brandy and Sweet Vermouth, topped with apple juice and ginger ale.

Citrus Cooler is a cool and refreshing cocktail with Grey Goose Citron, Elderflower Essence, apple juice, lime and finished with a touch of Cunard’s very own Sauvignon Blanc.

And that’s not all for the alcoholic drinks for there is ARMAGNAC like Armagnac Sempe Napoleon, and Armagnac Darroze, Chateau de Gaube 1971 and for Brandy, they have Asbachb Uralt; Calvados, Boulard Grand Fine; and Don Carlos I Solera, Gran Riserva.

CognacFor this they offer Courvoisier Napoleon; Courvoisier VS; Hennessy XO; Remy Martin SOP; Remy Martin, Louis XIII, 1 oz for $65; and Remy Martin, Louis XIII, 2 oz for $120.00. They also have Tennessee Whiskey like the Jack Daniel’s Black Label. Bourbon WhiskeyFor lovers of this, they offer the following selections: Elijah Craig 12-year old Small Batch, Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Rittenhouse Rye, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam. They also have Japanese Whiskey in Nikka “Yoichi” Single Malt 10 years 1oz, Nikka “Yoichi” Single Malt 10 years 2oz and Nikka from the Barrel.

For the Canadian Whiskey they offer Canadian Club, Seagram’s Crown Royal, Seagram’s Seven, and Seagram’s VO while for the Irish Whiskey, they can offer Connemara Peated Single Malt, Greenore Single Grain 8 years, Jameson, and Old Bushmills. For all the whiskey cocktails, tell your bar waiter if you would like a Manhattan or Rob Roy with your choice of whiskey.

As for the Scotch Single Malt Whisky for the Highland, they have Glenmorangie 25 years old “Quarter Century”, Glenmorangie 10 years, Glenmorangie Nectar D’or, The Glenlivet, Dalwhinnie 15 years, and for the Speyside they have Glenfiddich 12 years, Cragganmore 12 years, and Macallan Fine Oak.

For the Lowland, the offerings include Auchentoshan Three Woods and Glenkinchie 12 years while for the Islay, they have Laphroaig 10 years and Caol Ila 12 years. The selections for the Island include Talisker and Isle of Jura 16 years.

For the Scotch Blended Whisky, they have quite a selection like Teachers, Ballantine’s, Bell’s, Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Dewar’s, Chivas Regal 12 years, Chivas Regal Salute 21 years, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Johnnie Walker Blue Label. The advice here is to experience the unique chilled Johnnie Walker Gold Label poured straight from the refrigerator.

As for Port and Madeira, here’s what they have: Blandy’s Malmsey Madeira 15 years, Graham’s Port Late Bottled Vintage, Churchill’s Finest Reserve, Churchill’s Tawny 10 years, Churchill’s Tawny 20 years, Churchill’s Dry White, Taylor’s Tawny 40 years and Cunard Port for 2 in 200ml bottle. For Digestif they offer Fernet Branca, Grappa, Fernet Branca, Linie Aquavit and Jagermeister.

Liqueurs The selections are many like Amaretto Di Saronno, Cointreau, Drambuie, Frangelico, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, Tia Maria, B&B, Sambuca Romana, Grand Marnier, Limoncello, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, Southern Comfort, Benedictine Dom and St. Germain Elderflower.

The selections for Liqueur Coffees are Café Royale, Calypso With the addition of Tia Maria traditional Irish, or Irish Whiskey Nell Gwynn or with the addition of Grand Marnier.

Alcohol-Free CocktailsAs we said earlier, if you don’t drink, take heart for there is a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails like Tropicana, Red Apple Fizz, Cranpina, Rumless Mojito, and Atlantic Mist which is Cranberry Juice with Lemon and Lime Juices, topped with Ginger Beer. So take your pick and whatever it is, you will love it.

As you can see they have juices, minerals and water like Cranberry, Orange, Apple, Tomato, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Diet Sprite, Ginger Ale, Tonic Water, Club Soda Water, Orange Soda, Ginger Beer, Cunard Label Still Water, Cunard Label Gently Sparkling Water, Cunard Label Still Water, Perrier Sparkling Water, and Evian Still Water.

QM2 offers a selection of teas specially selected from the Jacksons of Picadilly range. Choose from a range of premium Fairtrade black and green teas, including a blended Breakfast tea, discerning Single Origin Specialty teas and authentic Sencha Green teas. Ask the bar waiter for the blends available among Black Teas, Green Teas and Infusion Teas. As for Coffee and Chocolate, they offer Espresso, Cappuccino and Café Latte.

Drink For Special DaysFor St. Patrick’s Day celebration, QM2 Beverage Team presented a wide range of exclusive offers of Irish Cocktails. One could quench his thirst with a pint of Guinness at the Golden Lion Pub or sip on Irish Whiskies and Liqueurs.

There’s also Shamrock Smoothie that combines Vodka, Triple Sec and Midori with a splash of Orange Curacao and a squeeze of fresh lime, shaken vigorously and served over ice. Then there’s Chocolate Paddy that combines Bailey’s Liqueur, Frangelico and Crème de Menthe and served straight up.

Here are the Bartenders’ Recommendations for Easter: Easter cocktails designed by professional mixologists for this special day are: Easter Bounty is a combination of Smirnoff Vodka & Malibu coconut rum, blended with coconut cream and garnished with a dash of dark chocolate shavings. Milky Way Martini combines Absolut Vodka, Kahula and Baileys shaken and served straight up, garnished with a delicious dark chocolate swirl.

Cocktail PartiesWe were also invited to several cocktail parties with the captain, one invitation of which is as follows:

Commodore Bernard WarnerCordially requests the pleasure of Dr. and Mrs. Rogelio Guzman

To join him and his officers on Monday 28th March At 7:30 pm in the Queen’s Room for cocktails

Dress Code: FormalThis party is by invitation only, Kindly present your invitation at the entrance, Guests who would like to meet the Commodore should enter the Queen’s Room via the port side.

Would you believe we each had a Singapore Sling at this event and had fun with Bonnie and Linda which together we took with us to the Royal Court Theatre to see a wonderful show called ‘Viva Italia”.

Exclusive Membership Wine Tasting AffairsThere were several wine tasting events offered to the World Club members for every leg of the world cruise. Here are examples of several invitations we received:

WORLD CLUB CUNARDEXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP WINE TASTINGIt is our pleasure to invite to a Complimentary Wine Tasting For our Platinum and Diamond Cunard World Club Members.

This event will be held on Monday, 28th March at 3:00 p.m.In the Britannia Restaurant Upper Level.

Please kindly present this invitation along with your ship’s ID card at the entrance to this event.

At each event, there were usually four stations. In one wine-tasting event we attended, the first station had us taste the Korbell Rose from California. It’s $39 a bottle and is a favourite of President Kennedy. President Obama is also using it now. It is really a sparkling white wine.

At the second station, we tasted Speciale Bordeaux with the sommelier telling us that it is good for fish dishes. When asked, he said it has 12% alcohol content.

The next wine we tasted is Gatekeeper from Australia where the climate has no huge change all year. Grapes are not overripe and burnt from MacLaren Valley. The wine maker is Simon and the colour is ruby red. This has to stay in an oak barrel for ten months.

The last but not the least is the fully ripe shiraz 2006. The sommelier this time is Dejan Kitonvic. The Grand Reserve is aged for two to three years while the Crianza is aged for two years, one of which is in oak. Robert Parker’s Advocate says shiraz 2006 has opaque purple color, a nose of spice box, cedar and blueberry and has remarkable class for its giveaway price.

WORLD CLUB CUNARDEXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP WINE TASTINGIt is our pleasure to invite to a Complimentary Wine Tasting For our Platinum and Diamond Cunard World Club Members.

This event will be held on Tuesday, 12th April at 3:30 p.m.In the Britannia Restaurant Upper Level.

Please kindly present this invitation along with your ship’s ID card at the entrance to this event.

Petrus The wine tasting events got us thinking of which on board would cost the most. One of the most expensive is the Petros. Jacob, from Poland who is a bartender was kind enough to supply us with some information on this topic. Here’s what we gathered from this selection:

QUEEN MARY 2 CUNARDSOMMELIER’S SELECTIONHere is your once in a lifetime opportunity to taste of the World’s greatest wines at remarkable value.

Tasting Petrus is truly one of life’s memorable and lasting experiences.

Ask your Sommelier about the first time they tasted Petrus!

1994 Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France $1595.00Robert Parker rates this vintage as Excellent and the wine is proving slow to mature so is drinkingwell now. Still some tannic attack but with black fruits, pencil shavings, cedar and cigar boxAromas, with all of the grace and finesse of one of the world’s wine masterpieces.

Also available atRoberson Wines, London, UK $1930.0020-20 Wine Merchants, Los Angeles California $1760

1978 Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France $1395Robert Parker rates this wine as Excellent and this wine is mature and ready to drink. The colouris tawny rust, offering aromas of cedar and leather, soft tannins and ethereal mouthfeel.

An experience unto itself to taste mature Bordeaux of such pedigree.

Also available atPark Avenue Liquor, New York, New York $2200Fine and Rare Wines, London, UK, $1995

Ask your Sommelier for details or contact the Chief Sommelier at 22062All prices are in USD and are subject to a 15% gratuityWhich will be added to your check.

The first time we heard about Petrus was from the capable sommelier assigned to our table. He is Jean Francois Angovin from Mauritius who willingly furnished us the answer to our questions about wines. Petrus became famous in the US in the 1960s when it was served in Le Pavillon restaurant in New York where Onassis sat in the corner.

Ever since then it became a status symbol, a name dropped by people to indicate not only do they know wine but also that they are in wine. By consensus, Petrus is viewed as the outstanding wine and along with Le Pin are among the most expensive wines in the world.

We asked one of the sommeliers what it felt like when he first tasted Petrus and he said this red wine is spicy, smooth, has 14% alcohol, and good to drink with duck. He said one has to drink it to fully appreciate it.

Drinks on board are generally cheaper than on shore because of their access to duty-free liqueur. Drinks may be ordered in the dining room and our capable sommelier assigned to our table, Jean Francois Angovin, was very efficient in making sure if we wanted to order a drink each dinner.

We bet they don’t know that in 2007 on the English Channel, a United Kingdom ship suffered storm damage and was purposely run aground (The Costa Concordia’s running aground was a different kettle of fish) just a mile off the Cornwall coast, spilling 150 oak barrels worth $850 each from a French cooper.

Then on the Mediterranean Sea, they discovered a ship’s remain that sank in fourth century BC. It had hundreds of wine amphorae which the researchers believed to be the famous red wine of Chios that could be the most expensive wine from Greece during the Classical period.