Dubonnet and Gin – The Queen’s Cocktail

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As a gin lover, I couldn’t wait to try Dubonnet and Gin. It’s a beautiful pink cocktail, and I was not disappointed. The Queen’s cocktail is not too sweet and is a perfect balance to herbaceous gin.

Did you know that Dubonnet and Gin was Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite cocktail? Dubonnet has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, especially since the Queen of England’s death.

Dubonnet and gin in a glass with a lemon swirl.

What is Dubonnet?

Dubonnet is a French aperitif that’s been around for over 170 years. It’s made from a blend of red grapes, with hints of aromatics, herbs, blackcurrant, and a touch of quinine.

Said to help combat malaria, quinine was originally a key component in tonic water, hence the popularity of gin and tonic in the tropics. 

With 14.8% alcohol by volume, Dubonnet can be served in various ways, including on the rocks or with soda, or as the Queen preferred for her Dubonnet aperitifs, with gin and a twist or slice of lemon.

two classes of dubonnet and gin with a bottle of dubonnet next to them.

What’s an Aperitif?

An aperitif is traditionally served before a meal as a way to whet one’s appetite. An aperitif should not be too sweet, and the dry gin balances the Dubonnet.

Other popular aperitifs such as dry sherry, Aperol spritz, vermouth, and Champagne are good choices to serve at a cocktail party or before a meal. Serve a Dubonnet aperitif with a charcuterie board, cheddar shortbread, nuts, or all of them!

dubonnet with a lemon twist.

Selecting the Best Gin for Your Dubonnet Cocktail

When choosing the best type of gin for your Dubonnet cocktail, opting for a high-quality dry gin can elevate the drink.

The botanicals in the gin should complement the complex flavors of the Dubonnet aperitif without overpowering it. Classic London Dry Gin offers the perfect balance of herbaceous and floral notes that harmonize beautifully with Dubonnet’s rich and aromatic profile.

The Queen preferred Gordon’s London dry gin in her Dubonnet cocktails, with a slice of lemon!

How Do You Make a Dubonnet and Gin Cocktail?

The ratio the Queen preferred for her drink, which she had on the rocks before lunch, was 2 parts Dubonnet to 1 part gin.

For this version, I envisioned a more elegant cocktail. I added crushed ice and poured it into two pretty coupe glasses fit for a Queen’s cocktail.

Start by measuring your Dubonnet and gin and pour into a cocktail shaker full of ice, then shake vigorously.

Finish by pouring into the glasses and garnish with either a twist or a slice of lemon!

Pouring Dubonnet from a cocktail shaker into a glass.
Dubonnet and gin.

Dubonnet and Gin

This simple French cocktail is said to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth ll. Serve over rocks or strained into a coupe with a twist or wedge of lemon.
5 from 58 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Aperitif
Cuisine French
Servings 2 servings
Calories 148 kcal


  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • 4 ounces Dubonnet
  • 2 slices lemon (or twists)


  • Measure Dubonnet and gin and pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake vigorously. Pour into two coupe glasses. Garnish with lemon twists or wedges.


Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.02gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 0.4mgPotassium: 10mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Went looking for the Dubonnet cocktail and found your page. I simply must try it. First a trip to the liquor store. Thanks for putting it right there where I could find it. I love Earl Grey tea also a favorite of the Queen. Now I have a favorite drink of hers.

5 from 58 votes (55 ratings without comment)

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