What Does Dubonnet Taste Like?

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What Does Dubonnet Taste Like

Alcohol can get so much more refined than a cold mug of beer at the end of a long day. What could be fancier than a drink beloved by British royalty?

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at dubonnet, an alcoholic wine-based drink favored by Queen Elizabeth II. We’ll talk about what it tastes like, what can compare to it, and how to serve it.

What Does Dubonnet Taste Like?

Dubonnet isn’t usually something that you drink straight. But if you were to swig on a serving of it with no mix-ins, you’d get the taste of spiced fruit.

It’s both sweet and a bit hot. Underneath those fruity flavors, there are astringent traces of bitterness due to the presence of quinine, a medicine that was used to treat malaria. Fun fact: Dubonnet was actually developed as a way to convince French soldier to take quinine!

Texturally, Dubonnet is probably different from most other drinks you’ve had. It’s a lot thicker than other types of alcohol and will almost make you feel as if you’re drinking syrup.  

If you’d like to learn about other types of foreign alcoholic drinks, read our post about what awamori tastes like.

What Flavor is Dubonnet?

There isn’t really one word that perfectly encapsulates the flavor of Dubonnet. A large part of its flavor comes from the quinine that is a traditional ingredient, so to some degree you could call it quinine-flavored.

However, beyond the quinine, spices and herbs have been added to it to give it sweetness to counteract the bitterness.

What is Similar to Dubonnet?

Are you searching for a way to imitate the flavor of Dubonnet, but don’t have any around? It’s important to mention that there are a couple different kinds of Dubonnets, including blanc (white) and rouge (red).

For white dubonnet, consider using vermouth. Dubonnet is already like an extra-sweet vermouth, so the substitution makes sense.

For red Dubonnet, you can try using Byrrh. Keep in mind, however, that Byrrh is even bitterer than Dubonnet.

Read Also: What Does Armagnac Taste Like?

How is Dubonnet Served?

Dubonnet is an aperitif, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a drink meant to be served prior to a meal. Queen Elizabeth II actually likes to drink her Dubonnet right before lunch. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t have it after your meal, though, if you felt so inclined.

While you can drink it straight, many prefer to have it mixed into a cocktail. There are a whole cornucopia of cocktail recipes that use Dubonnet, including the Queen Mother and Napoleon cocktails.

Is Dubonnet Alcoholic?

Yes, Dubonnet is an alcoholic drink. As a result, you’ll want to keep it away from children or avoid it yourself if you dislike alcohol for any reason.

If you want to try a drink that sounds alcoholic but isn’t usually, give birch beer a try. Its complex herbal flavor is perfect for those craving something with a little sophistication – and none of the alcoholic buzz.

Wrap Up

Those seeking a way to enjoy an alcoholic drink with the utmost class should look no further than Dubonnet. A favorite of the Queen of England, Dubonnet is a drink you can’t help but feel extravagant about whenever you sip on it. If you really want to imitate the Queen, try your Dubbonet mixed with gin, a slice of lemon, and ice.