What is an aperitif? It’s a beverage designed to prepare your appetite for a meal. Dubonnet Rouge is such a French wine, often used in mixed drink recipes to add dynamic sweet factors. I’ll be making recipes in the next week or so using Dubonnet Rouge but, as I’ve preached in the past, one must really try all ingredients to understand the final outcome of a cocktail.
The Dubonnet Rouge pours brownish red much like an old red wine. Holding it up to the light in a wine glass and you’ll see the edges are very clear and the color gets richer and darker as you look closer to the center.
The bouquet reminds me of an overripe strawberry wrapped in spicy flavorings that are tough to detect. Rolling the liquids around the glass offers dark plums with a bit of black licorice notes. The taste of Dubonnet Rouge is slightly sweet with a sugary attack which continues to a dark plum mid-palate transition with a bit of heat on the finish and nice strawberry flavorings.
As expected, Dubonnet Rouge wets the appetite for food, especially a savory food. Within a cocktail, I can see this building great dynamics with its sweet up-front sweetness and smooth round flavors.