I used to tune in on the reg to watch Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee on Food Network. While I thought she was a little over the top, I LOVED that she always had a cocktail time. Back then, our Friday night usual was enjoying a cocktail recipe from her show while hanging on the back deck with friends. Oh the days before kids! A French 75 cocktail reminds me of a drink Sandra Lee would chug while decorating her “tablescape” and whipping up some dish in her microwave. This is not her recipe, but I give her credit for the inspiration.
Who invented the French 75 cocktail?
The French 75 has a long and controversial past. It is rumored to have been invented at the New York Bar in Paris, but other accounts say that Charles Dickens was whipping up this drink way back in 1867 during his stay at the Parker House in Boston. And confusingly, some say this cocktail arrived on the battlefield during WWI when the soldiers thought the drink had such a kick, it felt like taking a shot from a French 75mm field gun.
Use a highball glass
Traditionally a French 75 is served in a Champage flute dry, no ice. Pretty, yes, functional for the pool and beach? Nope. Look, I like my cocktails on the rocks super cold with the ability to drink out of a solo cup. This is because I mainly drink cocktails on my back patio, on the beach, while camping, or something like that. I also like a boatload of ice. I need more ice than you think you’ll be able to add and a champagne flute isn’t going to be the best vessel in that situation. Don’t worry about a cocktail shaker either. Just mix up all the ingredients, less the Champagne, in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Stir with a spoon and pour directly into your highball glass. Add Champagne and enjoy!
Make it your own
A classic French 75 cocktail calls for gin, lemon, simple syrup finished off with Champagne. I love gin and secretly have to order my gin and tonics because if I have a few too many, I’m not nice. Tim prefers when I’m nice. Since this is a cocktail with many different ingredients, it probably doesn’t count:) Unlike the classic version, I use prepared lemon juice rather than fresh, and agave instead of simple syrup. I think the lemon juice gives a stronger lemon taste and the sweetness of the agave rounds out the bitterness of the lemon and gin. I top off with Champagne but you could use any bubbly you like. Adjust all ingredients until you find a blend that suits your taste. If you don’t do gin, vodka works.
What type of cocktails do you enjoy during the summer months? Let me know in the comment section below.
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