CAN you imagine anything more traditional that a jubilee celebration, and that scion of tradition, Harvey Nichols is pushing the boat out with a cocktail fit for a queen.

For the Queen's 70th jubilee, they have created a cocktail called Lillibet which is a combination of three royal favourites, gin, vermouth and champagne, aided and abetted by strawberry liqueur and a strawberry garnish to add some decor. It's available in Harvey Nics bars up and down the UK including Edinburgh. If you really want to celebrate in style, they are hosting a special seven-course tasting menu with one course for each decade of Her Majesty's reign, in the 4th floor brassiere with its fabulous views of the castle on June 2.

Cocktails are actually the ideal party drink because their broad mix of ingredients tends to mean there’s something in there for everyone, and they offer the modern artist in all of us a chance to really go for it with over-the-top garnishes. It's also so easy to make a similarly garnished non-alcoholic version so the whole family can join in.

If, like me, you like to spin a good yarn at a party then one of my favourites is the origin of the word ‘cocktail’. Years ago, unscrupulous horse traders would make a tired old nag look like a frisky young pony by rubbing a rag soaked in ginger and other spices around its cocked tail nether regions. You have to feel for the poor old hoss but quite how it became the name for a mixed party drink is beyond me.

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Harvey Nichols Small Batch Gin

Perhaps the perfect gin for a jubilee cocktail as it contains botanicals representing the whole of the British Isles. Rich in juniper and produced in the London Dry style, it's also just a cracking gin for a G&T. £30 on offer

Edinburgh Strawberry and Pink Pepper Gin

This one is halfway to a cocktail on its own...just add a dash of vermouth, some champagne and a dressing of strawberries. Or it's simply divine chilled to the bone and served with tonic. £19

To make a really fun cocktail for the kids, mix clear lemonade with Irn-Bru, a dash of strawberry syrup or strawberry puree and decorate with raspberries, sliced strawberries and an optional sprinkling of 100s and 1000s!