The name of this drink may seem to some to be topical our own times. But, the Gay Divorce Cocktail is found in W. J. tarling’s 1937 “Café Royal Cocktail Book.” The original sense of the name was ‘happy divorce.’ That so, the drink could be just as easily prescribed for anyone experiencing a more modern version of the same.
The source specifies the once-famous blanc quina wine sold as Kina Lillet (kina being a cute re-spelling of ‘quina’). That item is not produced anymore. The current incarnation of blanc Lillet is not made according to the classic formula. It is not as good a blanc quina wine as others now available, in my opinion. Instead, I would recommend the bianco version of Cocchi China Americano (china is Italian for ‘quina,’ which word was removed from the label in the U.S.A. to avoid confusing the poor Americans). For the liqueur of bitter orange, I will repeat that I recommend the eponymous bottling of Cointreau (of course), Luxardo Triplum (the best quality-for-money selection), or, my favorite, Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune. That last one is the liqueur that Grand Marnier makes to blend with Cognac brandy to make their better-known Cordon Rouge (technically an orange-flavored brandy liqueur). Since it isn’t distributed in the U.S.A., that selection is more for those in Europe.
Orange bitters could be used just as easily as grapefruit bitters in this.