Unavoidably, this guide is not exhaustive. Some quinquinas are regional products that don’t get exported to the U.S., and admittedly, the listings here are biased toward the U.S. marketplace. However, the marketplace is fluid, and we will add more listings as adequate information becomes available.
From St. Laurent du Pont, beginning 1865. A full-bodied quinquina that balances quinine and gentian botanicals.
Web site: http://www.alpenz.com/
Created in Thuir, France, beginning 1866. Rarely imported to the USA. Byrrh is a rare example of an aperitif based on red mistelle.
Web site: http://www.byrrh.com/
Created in Asti, Piedmont, Italy, beginning 1891. Based on Moscato di Asti.
Prominent sparkling wine producer in Piemonte. New ownership has brought their 19th Century vermouth and americano products back into production, with emergent distribution in the United States.
Web site: www.contratto.it
Originally marketed as Quinquina Dubonnet and created in Paris, France in 1846. Dubonnet is one of the mildest quinquinas, botanically speaking. Since World War Two, all Dubonnet in the US market has been produced under license in Kentucky by the Heaven Hill Distillery, and there are questions about the integrity of the product. The European product is generally regarded as exemplary.
Note that the classic Dubonnet wine is the “rouge” (red) expression. The “blanc” (straw-colored) product is a peculiar American market spinoff.
Web site: http://www.doyoudubonnet.com/
Produced in Podensac, Bordeaux, France, from 1887.
Lillet’s definitive product is generally called Lillet Blanc, but is usually labeled just “Lillet” and was once sold in some markets in the distant past as “Kina Lillet”. Today’s Lillet Blanc is amongst the mildest quinquinas, botanically speaking. It contains quinine, but only a hint, and no other botanicals.
Considerable confusion and doubt persists over whether the product has changed significantly since the days “Kina Lillet” appeared in cocktail recipes. The official line from the producers is that the product has not changed, and that cocktails specifying “Kina Lillet” are correctly made with today’s Lillet Blanc.
A deep red “Rouge” expression, a “vintage” expression and a rosé expression are also available in some markets.
Web site: http://www.lillet.com/
Novel Americano-like gentian aperitif wine from Australia featuring regional botanicals.
*not imported to the USA
Web site: http://maidenii.com.au
Created in Lyon, France, in 1830. Originally marketed as Quinquina St. Raphaël. Rarely imported to the USA. Current production status is unclear.
Both expressions of St. Raphaël are based on mistelle. Rouge St. Raphaël is actually based on a red mistelle.
Web site: http://www.straphael.fr/
Special thanks to Eric Seed, Romée de Gorianoff, Alexandre Vingtier and Carl Sutton for their invaluable assistance on this project. Otherwise, the individual to blame for this site is Martin Doudoroff, a New York City cocktail enthusiast driven to this sort of folly from time to time.
Corrections, augmentations and general feedback, particularly from vermouth and quinquina producers, are all welcomed at email@example.com.
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