April 18, 2014 – The Republic Steakhouse
1 sugar cube
Dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/4 oz. Dubonnet
Place bitters-saturated sugar cube into an Champagne flute, saturate with Angostura. Add an ice cube, pour in Dubonnet, fill with Champagne. Add lemon twist.
Gruet sparkling white wine (The Republic’s go to for Champagne in cocktails… why waste expensive Champagne?). The Alphonso is pretty much a Champagne Cocktail with the addition of Dubonnet, which added the expected herbal, slightly bitter taste an aperitif would add. I think I liked the Champagne Cocktail better, although this was a fine, light drink that looked fancy. I tasted the Dubonnet alone. It was pleasant, somewhere between a dry and sweet vermouth with that bitter, bright note of quinine.
Dubonnet is a wine-based aperitif with the usual mix of herbs and spices. Dubonnet was first sold in 1846 by Joseph Dubonnet, in response to a competition run by the French Government to find a way of persuading French Foreign Legionnaires in North Africa to drink quinine, which combats malaria.