It’s Friday and when the 5 o’clock hour comes calling, you may want to unwind with a delicious cocktail. Last week, we told you an intriguing tale involving bourbon, but this week we are in the mood for something bubbly. Sometimes you just want to drink something fancy. Maybe it will set the tone for a swanky night out or perhaps you are rewarding yourself and celebrating a job well done.
The French 75 is a classic cocktail and any drink that has stood the test of time is worth a taste. The French 75 was first recorded in 1930 in The Savoy Cocktail Book. Side note: have you ever read The Savoy Cocktail Book? Synonymous with style, elegance, and sophistication, the Savoy is unsurprisingly also the birthplace of some of the most famous cocktails in the world. During the 1920s and 1930s, Prohibition-dodging Americans visiting London for tea-dances and cocktails made the bar at the Savoy their home. Here they were entertained by legendary American barman Harry Craddock, inventor of the White Lady and popularizer of the Dry Martini. Originally published in 1930, the Savoy Cocktail Book features 750 of Harry’s most popular recipes. It is a fascinating record of the cocktails that set London alight at the time—and which are just as popular today. Taking you from Slings to Smashes, Fizzes to Flips, and featuring art deco illustrations, this book is the perfect gift for any budding mixologist or fan of 1930s-style decadence and sophistication. Actually, it’s a fabulous book and anyone who appreciates drinks, style, history, or elegance would enjoy it.
Okay, back to the history of the French 75. The story of the French 75 goes back to around 1915 when Harry MacElhone created it at the New York Bar in Paris. It was brought to the U.S. by returning World War I pilots and became a popular drink at New York City’s Stork Club. The name comes from a 75mm French field gun that was said to have the same kick as the drink.
At some point in its early history this drink was made with Cognac in place of the gin and there is some question as to which version is the real French 75, but gin is the more common now.
1 ounce gin or Cognac
1/2 ounce Cointreau orange liqueur
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Pour the lemon juice, gin, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
Strain into a chilled Champagne flute.
Carefully fill with Champagne.
The French 75 only takes 3 minutes to make and then you are ready to let the sipping begin! Cheers, and have a delicious weekend!