Weird History

What The Drink Of Choice Was For Historical Royals 

Setareh Janda
Updated June 26, 2020 477 votes 75 voters 11.4k views 12 items

List Rules Vote up the royals that share your taste in beverages.

What were the signature drinks of different royals throughout history? Some historical royals' drinks have become synonymous with the kings and queens who enjoyed them. From a beer-guzzling Russian empress to a whisky-tippling British queen, royals have always found drinks to wet their whistles.

Royal tastes were shaped by their times, and some royals actually shaped the tastes of people around them regarding both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Moreover, royal beverages were often status symbols, since they weren't always accessible to commoners.

Royals had the wealth and privilege to indulge in their personal tastes. In other words, they drank what they wanted, how they wanted. 

Catherine of Braganza is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What The Drink Of Choice Was For Historical Royals
Photo:  Peter Lely/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

As the daughter of the wealthy King of Portugal, Catherine of Braganza came to England as the bride of Charles II. But she brought more than a large dowry; she also brought tastes that many claim heightened tea's profile in England.

When Catherine arrived in England in 1662, tea was used medicinally. In contrast, she drank it regularly, and likely influenced members of her court to do the same. Catherine and her court thus helped make the consumption of tea a fashionable activity. 

At the same time, some historians caution against giving too much credit to Catherine for revolutionizing English tea consumption. By the time she arrived in England, they claim, trends were already well under way to raise the profile of tea. 

Whether or not it's historically accurate to call Catherine of Braganza the Mother of Tea in England, what is true is that she has become synonymous with tea. 

Age: Dec. at 67 (1638-1705)

Birthplace: Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa

Would you drink this?
Marie Antoinette is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What The Drink Of Choice Was For Historical Royals
Photo: Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Some people begin their day with a cup of coffee. Marie Antoinette, on the other hand, jumpstarted her mornings with a velvety, rich cup of hot chocolate. 

Hot chocolate was a status symbol in the 18th century - a drink for the elites, not the masses. As queen of France, Marie Antoinette thus freely indulged in her chocolate habit. She even employed a "Chocolate Maker to the Queen," whose entire job was to come up with tasty chocolate concoctions. 

Age: Dec. at 38 (1755-1793)

Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Would you drink this?
Alexander the Great is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What The Drink Of Choice Was For Historical Royals
Photo:  Jean-Simon Berthélemy/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Alexander the Great wasn't just one of the ancient world's most prolific empire-builders; he was also a heavy drinker. Like other Macedonians, he favored wine, and was known to drink it in great amounts.

His drinking habits could have fatal consequences. Alexander once capped off a night of binge-drinking by burning down the Persian city of Persepolis.

Age: Dec. at 33 (355 BC-322 BC)

Birthplace: Pella, Greece

Would you drink this?
Louis XIV of France is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What The Drink Of Choice Was For Historical Royals
Photo:  After Claude Lefèbvre/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

France's King Louis XIV and his court at Versailles are synonymous with decadence. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that Louis loved pairing Champagne with his food. 

Louis's love of bubbly actually caused some unexpected consequences. His physicians feared that his consumption of Champagne wasn't healthy, and instead urged him to drink other types of alcohol. Moreover, since true Champagne only comes from a particular region - Champagne in northern France - alcohol-makers in other French regions complained of what they considered royal favoritism.

Age: Dec. at 77 (1638-1715)

Birthplace: Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France

Would you drink this?