Call Me Zaza

The Call Me Zaza is my riff on a favourite Dubonnet Cocktail. Formerly an un-garnished cocktail from the 1930s. The cocktail is often served with a twist of lemon and sometimes an orange peel. Essentially, this cocktail replaces the dry vermouth of a classic gin martini with Dubonnet Rouge, which is a fortified wine with quinine.

Dubonnet Rouge is creamy and slightly sweeter than the average sweet vermouth. The Dubonnet cocktail is said to be a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, who preferred it served on the rocks.

The Dubonnet cocktail is known as the Zaza, named after the character in a 1915 silent film. Zaza is the main character of a romantic drama based on a French play. She is a prostitute who becomes a singer/entertainer and the mistress of a married man.

Call Me Zaza Cocktail

The Riff

Call Me Zaza is my interpretation of this favourite cocktail and bring some new brands to the table. In this recipe, I use the fantastic Fifty Pounds Gin, and for sweetness, chocolate infused red wine.

Fifty Pounds Gin is a favourite of mine because it is very well balanced, creamy and with a robust full body. Perfect on its own and excellent to use in your cocktails.

I did write a guest blog for Fifty Pounds Gin. The blog post explaining the benefits of using Bitters in your cocktails. A perfect moment for me to introduce a few of my favourite classic riffs. Including the riff on Zaza Cocktail.

Call Me Zaza is a fantastic cocktail with a refreshing taste and perfect for after dinner serving. The cocktail is elegant with lovely aroma on the nose — tasting notes introducing bittersweet, chocolate and citrus, making this mix a perfectly balanced drink.

The Call Me Zaza cocktail it’s an ideal aperitif. Be sure to try it and let me know what you think about this riff — also, a good idea of serving at your next dinner party.



  • Mix all but the wine in mixing glass with plenty of ice.
  • Strain into a chilled champagne flute.
  • Slowly pour the wine over a bar spoon to help drop on the bottom.
  • Serve with orange peel swirl.


  • 25ml Gin (Fifty Pounds)
  • 25ml Bénédictine DOM
  • 25ml Chocolate Infused Red Wine
  • 100ml Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Dash Angostura Bitter

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