Dubonnet – how to make the most of the Queen’s favourite drink

Dubonnet is rumoured to be the Queen’s favourite drink, and this fortified wine is perfect for using in recipes, from cocktails to desserts. Aged in oak barrels, it’s also delicious chilled or drunk with ice simply on its own. Check out our Dubonnet recipes below, and let us know if you’re enjoying one over on Twitter


Dubonnet – how to make the most of the Queen’s favourite drink

What is Dubonnet?

Akin to red vermouth, Dubonnet is a sweet fortified wine that goes well in a cocktail, but is equally tasty drunk chilled, on its own. It’s been around for many years – since Joseph Dubonnet first sold it in 1846. It contains a small amount of the bitter quinine, which is also present in some tonic waters.

Try the aperitif in these recipes and then find our tips for using up the rest of the bottle below!

The best Dubonnet recipes to make the most of the Queen’s favourite drink

Madeleines with Dubonnet sorbet

Debora Robertson has pulled a blinder here: buttery Madeleines are paired with the bitter-sweet sorbet which is made with plenty of orange juice to balance. You don’t need an ice cream maker for the recipe either, you can use a shallow plastic container and whizz it once frozen, then return to the freezer to firm up.

Dubonnet madeleines

Dubonnet cocktail

This 1970s classic drink could not be simpler. Put 30ml of Dubonnet into a flute and top up with champagne or sparkling dry white wine for a rich and spicy cocktail. You can’t say fairer than that…

Dubonnet fizz

Jubilee Dubonnet cheesecake

Our May 2022 issue cover star, this Dubonnet cheesecake can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve, then decorate with fresh fruit and chocolate curls to serve, if you like.

Dubonnet cheesecake

Use it up ideas

Dubonnet sangria

Combine the juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lemon, 1 diced apple, 4 tbsp brandy, 2 tbsp caster sugar and a few dashes of angostura bitters in a large jug. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then pour in 500ml Dubonnet, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to pour, top up with 500ml chilled soda water and serve over ice.

Use it with meat

Add a splash of Dubonnet to deglaze the pan after cooking chicken or duck. The hint of berry and spices works well with poultry; or swap it for the usual port or maderia in a pâté. We think it’s also great in a marinade for meat or replacing some of the wine in coq au vin.

Fruity syllabub

Whisk 400ml double cream until it just starts to thicken. Add 150ml Dubonnet, 50g icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp grenadine, then whisk to pillowy peaks. Serve with fruit or use to top a trifle.

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