Dubonnet was invented in Paris in 1846 by chemist Joseph Dubonnet, and like its rival, Picon, owed much of its early success to its quinine, especially among soldiers in the Foreign Legion fighting in the malarial swamps of Africa.
There are red and white versions, the red Dubonnet made from Grenache Noir and Carignan, the white from Muscat, Grenache blanc and Macabeu, each flavoured with a secret blend of herbs and spices.
Dubonnet also ran one of the great advertizing campaigns. Its slogan from the 1930s: Dubo, Dubon, Dubonnet was the French equivalent of Guinness is good for you, painted on walls across France (you can still see ‘ghost’ examples), even in the most out-of-the way places.
Since 1976, Dubonnet has been owned and produced by Pernod Ricard. The late Queen Elizabeth II was partial to a cocktail of two parts Dubonnet to one part Beefeater gin.
Images by Albert kok, Arnaud 25