Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails


Dark-colored Kiss cocktail with glints of red, served in a cocktail glass and garnished with an apple fan of four apple slices on a skewer
Image: / Tim Nusog

The Kiss cocktail comes from veteran New York bartender and self-proclaimed “Tiki pirate” Brian Miller. This original drink begins with gin and then calls on sweet vermouth, a French aperitif and an Italian liqueur. Together, you get a cocktail that’s similar to the classic Martinez (gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and bitters) but with a slightly sweeter and more herbaceous profile due to the Dubonnet rouge.

Dubonnet is an aromatized wine with origins that date to 1846, when it was first created by Joseph Dubonnet, a chemist and wine merchant from Paris. It’s flavored with herbs, spices, and quinine, a key component in tonic water that has traditionally been used to combat malaria. That inclusion was by design, as Dubonnet created his elixir to make quinine more palatable to French soldiers fighting in North Africa.

While Dubonnet rouge is often served over ice or simply mixed with gin, here it lends a bittersweet accent and subtle spice to the cocktail, and it merges deftly with the herbal, floral sweet vermouth and the bittersweet cherry notes of the maraschino liqueur—all without overshadowing the gin.

The Kiss is relatively easy to make, so it’s a great candidate for your next romantic date night, Valentine’s Day, or even a solo nightcap.


  • 2 ounces gin

  • 3/4 ounce Dubonnet rouge

  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur

  • Garnish: apple slice fan*


  1. Add the gin, Dubonnet Rouge, sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

  3. Garnish with an apple slice fan.

*Apple slice fan: Stand an apple upright, and cut a chunk from the side, being careful to avoid the core and seeds. Lie the apple chunk with its cut face down, then halve it so that the apple flesh is exposed. Cut four thin slices from the exposed side. Place the apple pieces together, pierce them with a cocktail pick about one third of the way from the bottom. Then fan them out and place in your drink, resting the cocktail pick on the rim of the glass.