Jubilee cocktails at Kitchen Joel Antunes: Queen"s favourite drink Dubonnet back in vogue

Diamond Dubonnet, Ma'am Queen's favourite tipple – created as a cure for malaria – is back in vogue for JubileeDubonnet developed in 1846 to encourage French Legionnaires to drink quinine for malaria
Herbal fortified wine fast became high society's drink of choice
Now Monarch's beloved Dubonnet given regal flair with edible diamonds or splashed into Royal Pimm's by Adam Davison of Kitchen Joel Antunes



09:59 GMT, 3 June 2012

Dubonnet: The aperitif of choice for the Royals

Dubonnet: The aperitif of choice for the Royals

It's not all shaking hands and cutting ribbons for the Queen.

The monarch is fond of a drink or two and, like her mother before her, she adores Dubonnet.

The fortified wine with herbs and quinine was invented in 1846, the result of a competition by the French Government to find a way of encouraging French Legionnaires to drink bitter quinine by disguising it in alcohol.

Meant as a punchy cure for malaria, it fast became the upper classes' aperitif of choice.

The Queen Mother drank it every day – mixed three parts Dubonnet, seven parts gin, with a twist of lemon – and was even known to take a small bottle with her on journeys, 'just in case.'

The Queen inherited her passion and enjoys a Dubonnet and gin every day before lunch, and reportedly one before bed too.

Candid photos of her
taken in the grounds of Balmoral enjoying lunch al fresco reveal her little folly – a glass of deep orange
Dubonnet and gin by her side.

times have changed since Queen Elizabeth was first charmed by Dubonnet.

The burgeoning popularity of wine and flavourless, easy-to-mix spirits
like vodka have seen off traditional aperitifs, meaning the Monarch is
in the minority when she sips on her daily Dubonnet.

Indeed, the drink had all but fallen off
the nation's bars for good – until now.

With the Jubilee fast approaching, our
renewed passion for all things British is gaining pace by the minute.

Couple that with our revitalised affection for the Royals and the natural charm and value of all things with heritage, and it's easy to see why Dubonnet is making a

Just the one: The Queen enjoying a Dubonnet and gin in the grounds of Balmoral

Just the one: The Queen enjoying a Dubonnet and gin in the grounds of Balmoral

'It's a celebration of all things British,' says Adam Davison, head barman of Kitchen Joel Antunes at Embassy Mayfair.

'It's really made a comeback for the Jubilee season. It's captured the attention of the next generation – I'm going to serve it this weekend at my sister Danielle's wedding. Like Aperol or a Negroni, it's the ideal aperitif.'

At Embassy Mayfair, Dubonnet is given an update with new bedfellows like Pimm's, rum or vodka, or with its old friend gin.

An intriguing ingredient, it gives classic cocktails oomph and modern mixes an air of accomplished elegance.

Just in time for the Jubilee, Adam has reinvented Dubonnet drinks – proving that the Queen, and her mother, have impeccable taste.

Make them yourself with the recipes below for a heady introduction to partying Buckingham Palace style, or head to Embassy Restaurant in Mayfair to see how the professionals do it.



Royal Pimms Punch

Packing a punch: Pimm's gets a royal upgrade with the Queen's adored Dubonnet, as well as her other favourite spirit – a dash of gin. The perfect balance of gin, Dubonnet, Pimm's and lemonade, it makes for a refreshing but heady concoction

Serves 6 – 8


100ml Tanqueray Gin100ml Dubonnet200ml Pimm's No150ml Crme de Fraise des Bois50ml Crme de Cassis50ml Triple Sec
50ml Lemon juice
100ml Strong English tea
600ml LemonadeSelection of quintessential British fruits (apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, cherries) as well as orange and lemon wheels


Build all ingredients into a punch bowl, add ice block (smaller cubes will melt) to chill and float chopped fruits.

Diamond DubonnetDiamond Dubonnet is given regal flair with edible diamonds

Diamond Dubonnet is given regal flair with edible diamonds



25ml Tanqueray gin50ml Dubonnet2 drops Orange bitters
Top sparkling English wine or champagne
Garnish: Edible diamonds (available via internet)


Shake gin, Dubonnet and orange bitters together and then double strain into glass. Top with sparkling English wine or champagne and drop a handful of edible diamonds into the flute


Long Commonwealth Iced Tea

Long Commonwealth Iced Tea: A contemporary twist on a classic, with the inspired addition of Earl Grey tea-infused vodka


15ml Croc vodka infused with Earl Grey Tea (take a bottle of Croc and add packet of loose leaf Earl Grey tea. Strain out leaves)
15ml Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Rum10ml Tanqueray Gin10ml Triple Sec25ml Lemon juice10ml sugar syrup2 drops Orange bitters
25ml DubonnetTop with Tonic water


Shake the vodka, rum, gin, Triple Sec, lemon juice, sugar and bitters together, double strain over ice. Add your Dubonnet and top with tonic water. Serve in a crystal highball with Jubilee straws.


Crowned 60

Showstopper: The Crowned 60 is the sophisticates' choice


50ml Dubonnet5ml Solera Sherry5ml Cherry Heering liqueur15ml Egg white2 small bar spoons of caster sugar10ml Lime juice
2 dash Cherry bitters (available on the internet or at specialist off licences)
Garnish: Fresh cherry


Shake all ingredients together hard and double strain into a Coupette glass then drop in the cherry.

Kitchen Joel Antunes is at Embassy Mayfair, 29 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN. Telephone: 020 7494 5660 for reservations or visit www.embassymayfair.com