Toasting village’s Royal tradition with special edition cocktail

FESTIVAL fever is sweeping the streets of Knutsford as the town gears up for the 150th anniversary of one of Cheshire’s biggest calendar highlights – the Royal May Day.

To shake up the celebrations, Gusto has created a special-edition cocktail ‘The Crowning Glory Royal Blood’.

Merrymakers can get their hands on the regal mix from Saturday and the cocktail - priced at £6.95 – will be on sale at the King Street restaurant and bar for two weeks only.

Gusto’s business development manager Steff Meachin said: “The restaurant is very community-based and we like to support the town in any way we can.

“This cocktail is all about community - it’s for the residents and for anyone who supports the May Day.

“So come in, have a drink and celebrate.”

Gusto cocktail specialist Hayley Hartford was the brains behind the summer-fresh mix, and was determined that the drink’s royal theme should shine through.

“Blueberries represent blue blood - I needed something to give the blue colouring - and I played around with some other ingredients like ginger, which pairs well with the blueberries,” said Hayley.

“The cocktail is quite light on the palate with a sweet lasting finish.

“It’s quite expensive to use blueberries so not many people use them in cocktails, but that fits in well with the royal theme - it’s premium.”

Cheshire-native Hunters Gin provides the essential ingredient. Hayley kept additional ingredients simple, to ensure the premium gin’s taste was not masked or overpowered.

She added: “We wanted the gin to speak for itself and didn’t want to dilute it – it’s all about the gin – it’s all about Hunters.”

As well as serving the crowing glory cocktails, the restaurant will also be housing a display celebrating all things May Day -including one of the past May Queen’s crowns.

So if you want to feel like a Queen (or King) for the day, or are looking to celebrate the long-standing tradition in sophisticated style, you know where to go to fulfil all your royal needs - Gusto.


Let’s raise a glass to 150 years

THE Crowning Glory Cocktail Celebration fundraiser is being held by Knutsford Heritage Centre as part of its Knutsford's Crowning Glory exhibition on May 8.

The fundraiser is being generously sponsored by Edmundson Electrical.

The exhibition, celebrating 150 years of Knutsford Royal May Day, features crowns, gowns, memorabilia and memories of the special day since it began in began in 1864 when Annie Pollitt was crowned May Queen.

It achieved ‘Royal’ status in 1887 when the town was visited by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, then Prince and Princess of Wales.

The gown and crown worn by the 1887 May Queen Mary Howarth is one of the many exhibits on show.

The Knutsford’s Crowning Glory exhibition runs at the heritage centre until Sunday, June 29.

Entry is free, but donations towards the upkeep of the centre, a charity, will be gratefully received.

The centre, at 90A King Street, WA16 6ED, is open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 2pm to 5pm. The centre is closed on Monday.

The 150th Knutsford Royal May Day takes place on Saturday, May 3 from 2pm when the parade leaves Marshall’s Yard.

Tickets for the Crowning Glory Cocktail Celebration are on sale now at Gusto Knutsford and Knutsford Heritage Centre.

They cost £12.50 per person and include one free cocktail and canapés.

If you would like more information or want to reserve your tickets email or phone 01565 650506.

The Crowning Glory Royal Blood
In the mix:
* Fresh blueberries
* Ginger
* Lemon juice
* Hunters Gin
* Sugar syrup
* Crushed ice
* Blueberries to garnish