There’s something about a bubbly cocktail that cranks up the festivity level of any occasion – even (and especially) if that occasion is toasting one’s self for getting through another week.
The french 75 is arguably the classic champagne cocktail, and with good reason.
It’s deceptively simple in both ingredients and method: just a bit of sugar, fresh lemon juice, and a healthy slug of dry gin shaken with ice and strained into a pretty glass; all of that topped off with your personal preference for champers, prosecco, cava, or other sparkling wine. The lightness of the bubbly gets an earthy and herbal base from the gin, and lemon’s citrusy zing makes this a great sipper to accompany everything from light appetizers to the traditionally heavy, starchy overload of a big holiday meal.
A bit of cocktail back-story: while lots of champagne-liquor combos were famously guzzled by the Victorian-era nobility and the dapper folks who emulated them on both sides of the Atlantic, this immediately popular variation was named around WWI in reference to the French 75 millimeter field gun, a piece of mobile artillery famed for its kickass power, speed, and accuracy. Apropos for this potent and dangerously drinkable sipper. Fair warning, after a few of these you’ll be stumbling into the next day wearing nothing but a tuxedo jacket and false eyelashes. Neither of which belong to you. Good thing you’ll mixing these up at home during this here pandemic, anyway, right?
A big huge thanks to cityhome real estate agent Jewel Maxfield for providing the stunning modern kitchen of her Milton Ave listing as a backdrop for staging this classic cocktail.
like many classics, everyone's got their favorite way to spin the sauce. here's our take...
Le French 75 (makes one)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces dry gin
- Chilled champagne (cava, prosecco, etc.)
Method: To a cocktail shaker, add the sugar and lemon juice and swirl until the sugar dissolves. Add the gin and ice, then shake until the tin is frosty. Strain into a champagne glass or coupe. Pouring slowly, fill the glass to the rim with bubbly. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Whenever possible, we like to spend our liquor dollars in support of local distilleries, and several make truly excellent gin. Check out New World Distillery’s Oomaw gin made in Eden and SLC’s Waterpocket Distilling Temple of the Moon gin; both make excellent French 75s. And continue to support local restaurants and bars with your patronage if you can afford to do so. Contribute to the Tip Your Server campaign, and check out the Support Local Dining directory for screaming deals (lots of BOGO, but the restaurants get to keep the matching funds – a win-win!) at some of our favorite local spots.