Cocktail of the Week

The French Kiss

Photo: Beverly Poppe

Party like it’s 1846 with my very favorite kind of kiss. A fortified blend of Barbera and Carignane wines, herbs, spices and peels, Dubonnet Aperitif Wine had its humble beginnings as a way of making quinine more palatable for soldiers battling malaria in North Africa. But today it does equally important work preparing the palate for dinner with its bracing bitterness and fairly sweet finish. The French Kiss is a more gentile if not gentle iteration of Dubonnet’s eponymous cocktail of equal parts gin and Dubonnet, and finished with a splash of orange bitters, circa 1914.


0.5 oz. Dubonnet Rouge

0.5 oz. Orange liqueur

1.5 oz. London dry gin


Combine ingredients (I recommend Cointreau orange liqueur and Plymouth gin) in a mixing glass over ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. (I prefer an orange twist.)


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