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In our tender youth, for some reason we were obsessed with Dubonnet. Perhaps it was the ad campaign with Pia Zadora, the perceived "frenchiness" of the drink or maybe we just liked the slightly bitter taste. In reality, it was probably a mix of all these plus the fact that no one of our generation drank Dubonnet and it was destined to be "our" drink of choice. We mixed it with gin for a Red Moonlight cocktail (don't forget the Angostura!) and we drank it on ice with a twist for a particular sense of chic. We loved rolling our eyes up to the heavens when a hapless bartender didn't know what Dubonnet even was. God, what a stupid country! Ah, youth!

These days our bottle of Dubonnet lasts the better part of a year. It's kind of refreshing with soda and a lime. A complete bar should have a bottle.

Of all the Dubonnet receipts we've collected, the frozen Ron Habanero -Dubonnet Helado remains a favorite. It's adapted from the often referred to but never duplicated Charles H. Baker, Jr., in his South American Gentleman's Companion. Charles calls for white rum; we would use dark for more flavor. 2 oz. rum 1 teaspoon (or more) lime juice 1 oz Dubonnet (red, natch) 1 tsp. (or more, to match the lime juice) grenadine 2 tsp. maraschino (this is not the liquid in a bottle of maraschino cherries but a strong cherry-based alcohol, also used in fondues!) Place in a chilled blender with ice and blend until stiff. You could try shaking the ingredients and serve the whole lot (ice and all) if you get a headache from blender drinks.

The original drink came from Cafe Plaza, Maracaibo, Venezuela. Thought you should know.



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