Did you know that Dubonnet and gin was the Queen of England’s favorite cocktail? Dubonnet is seeing a resurgence in popularity recently, especially since the Queen’s death. As a gin lover, I couldn’t wait to try this beautiful pink cocktail. I was not disappointed. It’s not too sweet, and is a perfect balance to herbaceous gin.
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 has 14.8% alcohol by volume, it can be served in a variety of ways including, on the rocks or with soda or as the Queen preferred, with gin and a twist or slice of lemon.
What’s an aperitif?
An aperitif is traditional 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, champagne are all good choices to serve at a cocktail party or before a meal. Serve an aperitif with a charcuterie board, cheddar shortbread, or nuts.
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. Serve it with either a twist or a slice of lemon. For this version, I envisioned a more elegant cocktail. I used a cocktail shaker, added crushed ice and poured it into two pretty coupe glasses fit for a Queen.
Dubonnet and Gin
- 2 ounces London dry gin
- 4 ounces Dubonnet
- 2 slices lemon (or twists0
- 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.