It is well known that Queen Elizabeth likes a Dubonnet and Gin before lunch each day, a drink she inherited from her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Once before a trip she was noted to have said. “…I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed…”
Dubonnet is a sweet blend of fortified wine, herbs, spices and quinine. It was invented by Joseph Dubonnet, a Parisian chemist, in 1846 as a way to make quinine more palatable for French Foreign Legionnaires to help them combat malaria in North Africa.
If you are planning a garden or street party this weekend for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee you could always serve Dubonnet and Gin cocktails, 30% gin and 70% Dubonnet. However Dubonnet isn’t that popular nowadays, and maybe a little hard to get a hold of as the Marylebone Cricket Club found out when the Queen visited Lord’s in 2009 to watch the Second Ashes Test. The staff of the cricket club found a single bottle of Dubonnet deep in their cellar, however it had ‘gone off’ and a quick search of local off-licenses and bars proved fruitless. The day was saved when it was found at a local supermarket, only to only have hopes nearly dashed when a security guard at the cricket ground wouldn’t allow the drink into the club. However in the end the queen was able to enjoy her pre-luncheon tipple.
‘On the throne’ – A Diamond Jubilee Cocktail
Since Dubonnet maybe difficult to find, I have taken some of the ingredient found in Dubonnet, which are brandy, cinnamon, chamomile, orange peel, green coffee beans and quinine to create a cocktail that is a modern take on Dubonnet and Gin. The Orange Gin Liqueur adds the orange flavour along with the gin, the cinnamon stick adds a little spice and acts as a twizzler, the tonic water adds the quinine flavour and the brandy with the red wine adds the fortified wine flavour.
- 1 fluid oz (30ml) of Orange Gin Liqueur
- 1 fluid oz (30ml) of Brandy
- 1 fluid oz (30ml) of Red Wine
- Tonic Water
- Cinnamon Stick
- 2 ice cubes
- Slice or orange to garnish
Pour the Gin, Brandy and Red wine into a low-ball glass or tumbler over ice. Top up with tonic water and garnish with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick. Enjoy in the sunshine and pretend you are royalty.