How To Make the Queen’s Favourite Cocktail

Toast to Her Majesty with a Dubonnet and gin

As the country moves from one era to the next, one way of paying our respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II is by mixing up her favourite drink: Dubonnet and gin.

The Queen grew up in a different age, when pre-luncheon cocktails were an everyday occurrence, being allowed to drink was a mark of being an adult, and getting just a little bit tight but remaining in control was a real social skill. But what was her drink of choice? Elizabeth II was known to love a Dubonnet, a French drink by Pernod Ricard which combines fortified wine with herbs and spices – so much so that she gave it a Royal Warrant in November 2021. She preferred a cocktail of two parts Dubonnet to one part gin, garnished with lemon.

Dubonnet and gin

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Dubonnet and gin is a taste from another time, one of twinsets and pearls and being allowed to wear lipstick for lunch with mother. The Queen was a creature of habit, and it is rather wonderful to think that this fairly simple drink has been prepared and enjoyed all over the world, in many different circumstances, a faithful and perhaps reassuring touchstone in an incredible life.

Recipe: Dubonnet and Gin Cocktail

To the taste of Queen Elizabeth II


  • 1oz gin (Gordon’s)
  • 2oz Dubonnet
  • Half a wheel of lemon
  • 2 ice cubes or one large one – dropping the ice cubes in the glass on top of the lemon acted as a mixer


  1. Add the spirits: gin first followed by Dubonnet, then add the half wheel of lemon, making sure it’s pip-free.
  2. Add two large chunks of ice carefully placed on top of the lemon to hold it down, just before serving.  
  3. The Queen would take hers in a small wine glass. At royal events cocktails were offered on a silver salver; only one gin and Dubonnet cocktail was prepared, and when the tray was offered everyone knew not to touch that one.

Main image: Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day, 1953