Created specifically for King Edward VII by this centuries-old London merchant, King's Ginger is finally available on American shelves.
In the summer of 1903 King Edward VII could often be found touring the English countryside in a luxurious "horseless carriage" -- a topless Daimler, of course, fitting his German heritage. The king, who had only recently ascended to the throne after the long reign of his mother, Queen Victoria, had spent most of his life as a famous playboy, a lover of good food and friendly women known to the wags as "Edward the Caresser." By the time he became king he was a corpulent 62 year old, plagued by occasional health problems, but hardly kept in check by them.
And so his doctor, fearing the effect that so much damp air might have on His Aging Majesty, paid a visit to Berry Bros. and Rudd, a centuries-old London merchant that held the royal appointment for wine and spirits. He told them he needed some sort of liqueur that he could put in Edward's driving flask (those were the days) to fortify him against the elements. Berry Bros. soon returned with a brandy-based quaff infused with ginger and honey: the King's Ginger, they called it.
Edward loved the stuff. Not only did he drink it on the road, but he took the King's Ginger with him hunting, and made sure anyone who accompanied him on a shoot got some too. Edward died in 1910, but Berry Bros. kept producing it for the royal family -- and, as word spread, for much of the aristocracy, too. There was no fixed recipe, and it was only available at the Berry Bros. shop. In a good year they'd sell 250 cases or so.