When I thought I was going to France this year, I began researching food and drink to prepare for this adventure. One of the drinks I had always heard about and yet never tried was the French 75, or in French, a Soixante Quinze. When I knew we wouldn’t be going to France, I figured I would find the drink recipes and make them myself!
Naturally, I was curious about how the French 75 got its name and just how popular of a drink it really was. A quick google search revealed that it is considered a classic cocktail and it is also considered a celebratory cocktail – probably because of the champagne. In fact, many people refer to it as a champagne martini. The French 75 was even featured in the 1942 film classic – Casablanca! Remember the Humphrey Bogart infamous line,” of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
This drink is thought to have been created by the owner of Harry’s American Bar in Paris with the inspiration coming from the 75mm Howitzer field gun used by the French and the Americans in World War 1. This gun was known for its accuracy and speed, and the French 75 drink apparently packed a kick equivalent to being hit by this weapon.
I had all the ingredients at home and I was trying to find the perfect time to make one of these cocktails. Then my friend Katy dropped by to bring me some beautiful French postcards that she had found at home while doing some reorganizing and wanted me to have them since I didn’t get to take my trip. The day she dropped them by, we ended up talking in my front yard for over an hour! I told her she needed to come back and we could socially distance on my deck and enjoy French 75 cocktails and snacks! This was my perfect opportunity to make these cocktails!
So, on Memorial Day weekend, Katy and I made plans to get together for cocktails and I prepared individual charcuterie (a French word) boards for us to enjoy. Now mind you, I’m not a cocktail type of person. I’m that person looking for the perfect bottle of wine and all I generally need is a wine glass and a cork screw. Luckily, I found an entire stainless-steel cocktail set at the thrift store last fall and was excited about putting it to use that day.
The recipe calls for:
- 1 ounce of gin
- ½ ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 3 ounces of champagne (or sparkling wine)
- Garnish with spiral lemon twist
To Prepare: Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is cold – this takes about 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail through a strainer or a slotted spoon into a large flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
I was surprised at how easy this was to make and enjoy! In fact, Katy and I enjoyed not one, but two of these delicious cocktails that day. Granted it was a rather warm day sitting outside on my deck under the gazebo even with the fan blowing. But it was such a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the company of a friend and have a few cocktails and appetizers while social distancing. My French cocktail experience was complete!