Downton Abbey – Marmalade Cocktail

TV Dinners: Don't just watch the second episode of Downton - don your finery, shake up a cocktail and pretend you're a guest at the Abbey itself...

imagenotavailable1’s TV Dinners series is designed to test your culinary mettle, whilst taking inspiration from some of your favourite television shows. From a modern take on Betty’s Coronation Street hot pot to a trip back in time to gorge yourself whilst sampling the delights of Downton Abbey, or perhaps a slice of the supermodel lifestyle to eat along with BINTM, before filling your empty belly with X Factor’s Chico-ry salad – each time the culinary magicians at Sous Chef will devise a new and exciting recipe for you to try…


If you tuned into the new season of Downton last weekend, you will have noticed that times are changing. The trauma of the First World War has passed, and the Crawley’s are now rolling into the interwar years.

The Downton household is going to have to adapt. But if the horror of the too-tall footman in last week’s episode reminded us of anything (“no footman should be over 6 foot 1”), it is the traditional household’s aversion to change.

“Can I tempt you to one of these new cocktails?” Earl Grantham asked his mother, grimacing at a coupe glass.  “No, I don’t think so” replied the Dowager. “They look too exciting for something so early in the evening, don’t you think so Carson?”

And “exciting” they were. Cocktails really kicked off round the 1920s. At the front of the scene was Chicago-born barman Harry Craddock who fled America on the first day of prohibition and moved to England where the booze still flowed freely. He headed-up the American Bar at the Savoy, and was famed for inventing the ‘marmalade cocktail’ (amongst many others). So this week we’ve decided to ditch the dinners and sip on a ‘TV aperitif’ instead.

The orange flavour is inspired Craddock’s marmalade cocktail, with the British twist of using bergamot – one of the flavourings in Earl Grey tea. Craddock wrote “by its bitter-sweet taste, this cocktail is especially suited to be a luncheon aperitif” – but we think it works just as well round Downton o’clock, so mix a drink and enjoy this week’s instalment in style.    

Downton Abbey is on tonight at 9:00pm on ITV1. 

Downton Marmalade Cocktail
Serves 1 (easily scaled-up)


50g gin
25g freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large handful of ice

For the bergamot syrup
10g water
10g caster sugar
2 drops of bergamot extract


Cocktail shaker
Cocktail strainer
1 coupe glass

1. Put the water and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

2. Add the bergamot extract to the cooled sugar syrup.

3. Pour the gin, lemon juice and bergamot-flavoured syrup into a cocktail shaker

4. Add the ice, and shake hard, until the shaker is unpleasantly cold to hold.

5. Strain into a cold coupe glass. 


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