The recipe for this gin cocktail could not be simpler.
1 ounce of Dubonnet
1 ounce of gin
Stir well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a ribbon of orange.
What is Dubbonet, you ask? It is a fortified wine, with the addition of herbs and quinine — that bitter found also in tonic water. It is the quinine that makes the addition of gin, or any other spirit, necessary to down this red drink.
This is how the Scientific American Encyclopedia of Formulis classified Dubonnet in 1910:
“A very popular French preparation. Its composition has not been disclosed. Makes excellent cocktails when added to equal parts gin or whiskey. Use no biters.”
That last line is sage advice. Dubonnet is already quite bitter.