Queen: Dubonnet cocktail origin explained by expert
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The Queen is in the middle of celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, and Britons across the country are throwing street parties and enjoying the occasion. There’s no better way to celebrate than with the Queen’s favourite cocktail, a Dubonnet and gin. This is a simple mixture of Dubonnet, a wine-based French aperitif, and gin with a slice of lemon.
It’s a cocktail that was in vogue in Britain during the 1920s and was particularly loved by the Queen Mother, whose preference for the cocktail naturally influenced Her Majesty.
The Queen Mother was not one to shy away from a drink.
Queen Elizabeth II has carried on the tradition of drinking her late mother’s preferred aperitif, Dubonnet and gin.
Her Majesty enjoys a 2:1 ratio of Dubonnet to gin, for a lower-alcohol serve.
The aromatic French aperitif has become so significant to the Royal Family that it was awarded a Royal Warrant in 2021.
The Queen’s gin and Dubonnet cocktail has become such an icon that most of London’s five-star hotel bars have created their own twists for the Platinum Jubilee inspired by Dubonnet.
It is commonly referred to as a Zaza when served over ice.
The Dubonnet cocktail was created in the 1840s as a way to make Quinine, a medication used to treat malaria, more palatable for French Foreign Legion Troops.
The Dubonnet Cocktail surfaced in Britain in the early 1900s.
It came about as Dubonnet is quite bitter when consumed on its own, however, pairs nicely with gin.
Gordon’s gin has a Royal Warrant which would be a perfect choice if you want to be particularly regal.
The Dubonnet cocktail is also traditionally served on Christmas Eve at Sandringham when the Royal Family have their black-tie evening event before Church the following morning.
The classic Dubonnet cocktail is also not very difficult to make.
It is a cocktail staple that can be found at most alcohol stores in the UK and is served at all royal residences across the UK.
How do you make the Queen’s favourite tipple?
One ounce gin (the Queen prefers Gordon’s London dry gin)
Two ounces Dubonnet
Half of a lemon slice
Robert Large, who is the Yeoman of the cellars at Buckingham Palace, previously revealed the instructions to make the cocktail.
Pour one part gin and two parts of Dubonnet into a small wine glass, or chalice.
Add the half lemon wheel to the mixture.
Then top with two perfectly proportionate ice cubes, sinking the lemon into the cocktail.
People can add more ice at their own discretion.
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