Queen: Dubonnet cocktail origin explained by expert
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The Queen sadly died on September 8 at the age of 96, meaning King Charles III is now the monarch. Queen Elizabeth had a well-known 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 Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen Mother was not one to shy away from a drink.
Queen Elizabeth II carried on the tradition of drinking her mother’s preferred aperitif, Dubonnet and gin.
The late monarch enjoyed 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 had become such an icon that most of London’s five-star hotel bars created their own twists for the Platinum Jubilee in June, 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 has been traditionally served on Christmas Eve at Sandringham when the Royal Family usually 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 beloved Queen’s favourite tipple?
One ounce gin (the Queen preferred Gordon’s London dry gin)
Two ounces Dubonnet
Half of a lemon slice
Robert Large, who was 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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