Dubonnet Cocktail


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Dubonnet Cocktail_001

Introduction to the Dubonnet Cocktail

The Dubonnet Cocktail is a timeless classic, embodying elegance with its rich flavors and royal connections. This sophisticated aperitif is known for its perfect blend of gin and the unique Dubonnet Rouge, creating a drink that’s both refreshing and complex. Let’s delve into the world of this storied cocktail and discover what makes it a favorite among connoisseurs.

With its herbal undertones and wine-based character, the Dubonnet Cocktail offers a unique tasting experience. Its history is as rich as its flavor, with a legacy that includes being a preferred drink of royalty. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, this drink’s balance of simplicity and depth is sure to captivate.

Join us as we explore the Dubonnet Cocktail, from its storied past to the nuances of its taste. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at your next gathering or simply enjoy a refined drink at home, this cocktail is sure to please.

Key Facts About the Dubonnet Cocktail

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 22% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 165 per serving
  • Glass Type: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Interesting Facts about the Dubonnet Cocktail

Did you know that the Dubonnet Cocktail was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother? She enjoyed it so much that it became a staple in royal circles. Additionally, the cocktail’s main ingredient, Dubonnet Rouge, was originally created in 1846 to entice French Foreign Legionnaires to drink quinine for malaria prevention.

Dubonnet Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Dubonnet Cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, bitter, and botanical flavors. The gin provides a crisp, juniper-forward base, while the Dubonnet Rouge adds a sweet, complex layer with hints of spices and herbs. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a drink with depth and history.

It’s an ideal choice for pre-dinner socializing, serving as an excellent aperitif that stimulates the appetite. The Dubonnet Cocktail suits a variety of occasions, from formal events to relaxed evenings at home. Its versatility and timeless appeal make it a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast.

History of the Dubonnet Cocktail

The Dubonnet Cocktail’s origins are as intriguing as its taste. Dubonnet, the aperitif at the heart of this cocktail, was created in France with the intention of making quinine more palatable. Over time, it gained popularity for its delightful flavor and became a key component in this classic cocktail.

Throughout the years, the Dubonnet Cocktail has maintained its status as a drink of sophistication. It has graced the tables of high society and has been associated with royalty, further cementing its place in cocktail history. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its perfectly balanced flavor profile.

Dubonnet Cocktail Ingredients

  • Gin: 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) – Provides a crisp, herbal base.
  • Dubonnet Rouge: 3/4 oz (22 ml) – Adds sweetness and complexity.
  • Lemon Twist: For garnish – Offers a citrus aroma and flavor accent.

Did you know? The Dubonnet Cocktail is often stirred, not shaken, to preserve its clarity and delicate flavors.

Dubonnet Cocktail Glass

Dubonnet Cocktail Method

Creating the perfect Dubonnet Cocktail is an art. Begin by filling a mixing glass with ice cubes to chill the ingredients without diluting them too quickly. Next, pour the gin and Dubonnet Rouge over the ice, ensuring a balanced mix.

Stir the concoction well until the outside of the glass feels cold to the touch. This method helps to maintain the integrity of the spirits. Once chilled, strain the mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass to keep the drink at an optimal temperature.

Finally, garnish with a twist of lemon peel. When expressing the oils over the drink, the lemon’s zest adds a bright, aromatic finish that complements the cocktail’s herbal notes.

Serving Suggestion

The Dubonnet Cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. The shape of the glass preserves the aromatics and presents the drink elegantly. When preparing the garnish, ensure the lemon twist is fresh to maximize the essential oils that enhance the drink’s aroma.

Elevating the Dubonnet Cocktail

  • Use premium gin with a distinct botanical profile to complement the Dubonnet Rouge.
  • Chill the cocktail glass in advance to maintain the drink’s temperature without excessive dilution.
  • Experiment with different types of ice, such as clear ice, to add a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

Dubonnet Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Dubonnet Cocktail

If Dubonnet Rouge is unavailable, consider using a similar sweet vermouth as a substitute. While the flavor profile will differ, it can still create a delightful aperitif. For a non-alcoholic version, explore herbal-infused syrups mixed with tonic water.

Similar cocktails that share the Dubonnet Cocktail’s character include the Negroni and the Americano. Both use vermouth and provide a comparable balance of bitterness and sweetness.

Add a Twist

For a modern take on the Dubonnet Cocktail, try adding a splash of orange bitters for a citrusy depth. Alternatively, infuse the gin with additional botanicals such as rosemary or lavender for a personalized touch. Another variation is to replace the lemon twist with an orange or grapefruit peel to alter the citrus notes.

Preferred Liquors for the Dubonnet Cocktail

Selecting the right gin is crucial for the Dubonnet Cocktail. Brands like Tanqueray or Beefeater, known for their juniper-forward profiles, are excellent choices. For a more contemporary twist, gins with unique botanicals can add an intriguing layer of flavor.

Similar Cocktails to the Dubonnet Cocktail

If you enjoy the Dubonnet Cocktail, you might also appreciate the Martini, the Manhattan, or the Boulevardier. Each offers a distinct blend of spirits and vermouth, providing a similar complexity and elegance.

Food Pairings to go with the Dubonnet Cocktail

The Dubonnet Cocktail pairs beautifully with savory appetizers like cheese boards or bruschetta. For a more adventurous pairing, try it with spicy or umami-rich foods to contrast its sweetness.

Dubonnet Cocktail FAQs

Can I use any type of gin for the Dubonnet Cocktail? While you can use any gin, a classic London Dry Gin is recommended for its clean, juniper-led flavor.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Dubonnet Cocktail? Yes, you can create a mocktail version using herbal syrups and tonic water to mimic the herbal and bitter notes.

How important is the garnish? The lemon twist garnish is essential as it adds a fresh, citrus aroma that enhances the overall drinking experience.

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Dubonnet Cocktail

The Dubonnet Cocktail is a classic aperitif with a rich history, favored by royalty and sophisticates alike. Combining the herbal, wine-based quinquina Dubonnet Rouge with gin, this drink is a perfect balance of complexity and refreshment.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Calories 165 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge
  • Lemon twist for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the gin and Dubonnet Rouge over the ice.
  • Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon peel, ensuring the oils are expressed over the drink.


Dubonnet is a sweet, aromatized wine-based aperitif with a blend of fortified wine, herbs, and spices. It is essential to use Dubonnet Rouge for the authentic flavor profile of this cocktail.
Keyword Aperitif, Classic Cocktail, Cocktail Recipe, Dubonnet Cocktail, Dubonnet Rouge, Gin, Martini, Queen Elizabeth, Vermouth

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