Toast Mom Like a Queen With This Drink 

The last few years have been a frenzy for royal watchers. Starting with Harry and Meghan’s breakaway, their blockbuster Oprah interview and Harry’s “Spare” memoir, continuing with Queen Elizabeth II’s death and Charles’ ascent to the throne with his Queen Consort Camilla, Prince Andrew’s sex allegations, Charles’ cancer, and Princess Katherine going MIA and later revealing her own cancer diagnosis; there is no shortage of stories about Britain’s aristocracy to fill up the gossip rags. 

With all this hullabaloo and conflicting opinions on Britain’s nobles, let’s take a moment to remember one of their most universally loved members. 

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (1901-2002), Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was the wife of King George IV and mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. Known as the matriarch of the British Royal family, she was a consistently popular figure, even when other members were suffering from low levels of public approval. 

She lived to the impressive age of 101 and was known for her love of gin and Champagne. A gin and Dubonnet was the Queen Mother’s favorite drink with her preferred ratio being two parts Dubonnet to one part gin. When mixed in these proportions it’s known as the Queen Mother cocktail. It was said that she used to drink two before lunch.  

She also didn’t skip on her pleasure while traveling. In 2008, a written note in which the Queen Mother asked her aide to pack gin and Dubonnet for a holiday trip sold at auction for £16,000, according to the BBC. The letter read, “I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed.” 

The Queen Mother cocktail is a refreshing and potent tipple perfect for spring. And with May being the month of Mother’s Day it’s a befitting tribute to moms everywhere.  

If you’re not familiar, Dubonnet is a blend of fortified wine, herbs, spices and a little quinine often enjoyed as an aperitif.  The BBC reports that it was invented in 1846 by chemist Joseph Dubonnet, from Paris, during the French conquest of North Africa in the 1830s, after the authorities offered rewards to anyone who could come up with a way of helping French Foreign Legionnaires drink quinine, which was used to combat malaria. 

Dubonnet has a thick and robust feel on your palate similar to a port. While sweeter than red vermouth, it still retains a bitter flavor due to the inclusion of quinine. Tasters report hints of cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, coffee, thyme and citrus.    

Queen Elizabeth II was also a big fan of this spirit, and in November 2021 she awarded Dubonnet a Royal Warrant. This accolade sparked a spike in demand and created a new generation of fans. 

Consisting of only two ingredients, the Queen Mother cocktail is easy to mix, making it a simple, yet sophisticated highball. The hardest part might be choosing which gin to use. 

Gins vary from dry and bold to herbaceous and citrusy. All of these work well with the botanical elements of Dubonnet. However, if you want to stick with an aristocratic theme, I recommend two options.  

Firstly, if you prefer a traditional gin, you can use one of the most ubiquitous gins on the market, Beefeater London Dry gin, which features a member of one of the Royal ceremonial guards on the bottle. Beefeater is known for its exceptionally clean flavor and strong juniper character. 

Or if you fancy something more floral and complex, you can seek out Buckingham Palace dry gin which has a unique royal origin, with many of its citrus and herbal notes sourced the Buckingham Palace Gardens. They even released a limited edition Coronation gin which honors the coronation of King Charles.  Both can be purchased online from 

So, toast your mom like a queen and enjoy this refined cocktail with her.   

The Queen Mother 

1.5 ounces part gin
3 ounces Dubonnet
Orange or lemon twist to garnish (optional) 

Stir one part gin and two parts Dubonnet with ice and strain into a class.  

























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