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Friday Cocktail

By Brian Abbott
Dubonnet cocktail

Dubonnet cocktail

This Friday’s cocktail is steeped in history and a favorite of queens.  Try the Dubonnet cocktail!

Dubonnet is an aperitif wine containing quinine.  It was invented as part of a contest to encourage French Foreign legionnaires, serving in North Africa, to fortify themselves with quinine as a means to combat malaria.  Thus, in 1846, Jospeh Dubonnet created this sweet drink.

I’ve seen suggestions online that one oughtn’t to drink Dubonnet by itself.  That it is better served mixed with gin or another liqueur.  Rubbish!

Dubonnet, the rouge version in particular, is fine by itself.  Though it is likely to be an acquired taste.  On its own, the flavor is sweet and smooth.  There’s just a hint of the quinine.  It reminds me of port or sherry and should be served in a similiar glass.

Around the turn of the last century, the Dubonnet cocktail was created.  It is reported to have been a favorite of the Queen Mum (Queen Elizabeth) and, served over two cubes of ice, a favorite of her daughter Queen Elizabeth II.

Discover more about the cocktail here and here.

What you’ll need:  Gin, Dubonnet (rouge), and lemon

Recipes vary, but a common one calls for 2 parts gin to one part Dubonnet.  For a small glass, pour 2 ounce of gin and one ounce of Dubonnet in a shaker over ice.  For a larger glass, pour 3 ounces of gin and 1 1/2 ounce of Dubonnet in a shaker over ice.  Regardless of porportions used, shake and then strain into your glass.  A lemon twist may be added as garnish.

How I like it:  I prefer mine served chilled with a twist of lemon and sans ice.  Dubonnet can be paired with numerous liquors, but it blends very nicely with gin.

Be regal and drink responsibly!


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