Washington pop-up bar channels royal wedding spirit

Washington (AFP) –


No invite to this weekend's royal wedding? Don't despair -- Washington's latest pop-up bar is holding a watch party featuring martinis fit for a queen.

At the royal wedding-themed venue in the US capital fans of Britain's royal family can celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials inside a replica of St. George's Chapel, with faux stained-glass windows and a special throne room to boot.

The pop-up's menu offers 10 themed cocktails including a "God Save the Queen" gin martini modeled after Elizabeth II's favorite, and a "Kensington Garden Party" concoction made with the British classic Pimm's.

The "Markle Sparkle" glimmers with edible glitter, and in a nod to a hit song by America's own Queen Bey -- pop music royalty Beyonce -- the "Put a Ring On It" is served up with a faux engagement ring.

Patrons can also imbibe wedding cake shots that mirror the actual confection guests at Windsor will enjoy, comprised of buttercream-infused vodka, elderflower, lemon and tea.

British beers and wines from Markle's native California will also be on hand at the pop-up, which will operate May 4-20 with a special watch party kicking off before Saturday's wedding service -- which begins at a bleary-eyed 7 am Washington time.

Glowing beneath her blush pink cocktail hat, Dorothy Skrincosky of Virginia turned up at the regal bar to fete the upcoming wedding, saying she plans to wake up bright and early Saturday to watch Markle walk down the aisle.

"I've loved the royals all my life," she told AFP. "They just fascinate me -- maybe it's an inner wish to be a royal myself."

Skrincosky said she was "delighted" that a biracial American actress was tying the knot with a British prince: "I think it will, you know, just make the royal family even richer in their love for all people."

"Oh Meghan, I wish you the best of everything with your handsome prince," she said.

"Make lots of babies, and cheers to the royal couple!"

Megan Passafaro, an attorney living in Washington, also voiced glee that an American was becoming British royalty, saying it made the upcoming vow exchange "extra exciting."

The pop-up, she said, "looks kind of real" -- notably thanks to a luxurious crimson and gold throne crafted in the likeness of Buckingham Palace.

As wedding mania swirls and the palace works to quell scandal over a potential no-show from Markle's father, Passafaro offered up some simple advice to the soon-to-be newlyweds ahead of their big day.

"Make sure to eat your cake!"