Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Before 30 Recipes: French 75

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Remember the 30 Before 30: Recipe To Do List? It's hard to decide where to start. Dip your toe in the shallow end with something quick and easy? Or just jump in head first? All that deliberation can make a girl thirsty, so why not kick it off with a cocktail? The classic French 75, specifically.
"The drink was created in 1915 at the Paris landmark, Harry's New York Bar by barman Harry MacElhone. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece, also called a "75 Cocktail", or "Soixante Quinze" in French. The French 75 was popularized in America at the Stork Club." - Wikipedia: French 75
Fascinating, right? Okay, maybe not so much but it all starts with gin and champagne, and that's fascinating enough for me! Now that the vintage cocktail revival is finally starting to make it's way mainstream, you can occasionally find them in your local (quality) bar. Or if you're like me and don't want to wait for some bartender to pour one your way, you can use the super simple instructions below to shake one for yourself. This drink packs a wollop; it is not for the faint of heart. If you like your drinks fruity and frilly, then this isn't for you. But if you appreciate old school cocktails with an intriguing flavor combination, then this will not disappoint!

:::The French 75:::
2 oz. gin
1 oz. simple syrup (or 2 tsp. superfine sugar)
1 oz. lemon juice
Brut Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

Shake gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in cocktail shaker with ice for 10-15 seconds. Strain into glass, and top with champagne (or sparkling wine). And if you want to add a little something extra, garnish with a lemon twist or maraschino cherry. I like the pop of color so I added a cherry (though actually, I don't like maraschino cherries!).

Results? FABULOUS. According to some recipes, this drink can also be made with cognac instead of gin. I've had it both ways and really? They're both delicious. Cognac is much sweeter than gin, so let that decide which route you go.

You know what else is fabulous? The 30 Before 30 Recipe adventure has begun! Oy, I hope I can fit all this in. I'll be updating my list soon so stay tuned! And in the meantime, drink up! ;-)

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