Well, the last of my holiday-themed mid-week tangents has arrived at long last, and I am determined to go out with a bang. Today, I present to you the most delicious yet deadly of NYE cocktails. This is the cocktail to end all cocktails. This cocktail, in fact, comes with a warning that no one ever heeds. I promise you, I warn people all the time, they never listen, and then they are sorry the next day. I myself have fallen victim to this wicked little cocktail.
Are you ready for your warning?
Warning: These are deadly. They will sneak up on you. You will think you can have another, then another, then another and you’ll think that you’re feeling fine. It will hit you suddenly, like a freight train, and it will leave you absolutely wrecked the following day. Consume these slowly and intermittently. Have no more than four throughout the night. Do not mix with other beverages. Consider yourselves warned.
The French 75
Description: This bubbly delight is refreshing, delicious, subtle and highly drinkable. It has the added element of classiness because of, hello, champagne bubbles. It is also a cocktail whose name has a backstory, which I can always appreciate: “The 75-millimeter M1897, a light, potent little gun with a vicious rate of fire, was the mainstay of the French field artillery in World War I. Hence the drink.” See? Small but mighty. Perhaps this is a good time to go back and review my warning.
–1-2 ounces gin (I go big with 2 ounces)
–healthy squeeze of lemon juice (most call for 1/2 ounce, but I say do it to taste)
–1/2 or 1 tsp sugar
–Champagne to fill champagne flute (3-5 ounces, depending on how strong you like it)
-Use a good gin, but not a highly flavoured gin. This is not the time to whip out your fancy cucumber or rosemary infused gin. Make it neutral, but not crappy. I am still convinced that people who don’t like gin are just drinking really bad gin.
-Champagne or sparkling wine varies greatly in taste and price. The good news is this drink is forgiving with sparkling wines and champagne. Cheap works fine because gin and lemon will rescue the bubbly. You can even use Prosecco here, but I’d advise to eliminate sugar from the recipe if using Prosecco since it’s a sweeter wine.
-Sugar: I don’t even use sugar in my French 75s anymore, but I am a lover of gin and a hater of sweet cocktails. For first-timers or gin-haters, sugar can soften the blow of the drink, but I encourage you to experiment over time with the right amount of sugar, or non-sugar, for you.
-Champagne flutes: obviously these are optional. I think they lend a fancy element to the drink and make it extra celebratory for nights like NYE, but you can make it any glass you have. You’ll just have to measure champagne more closely in larger glasses. Recipes vary greatly from 2-5 ounces of champagne to be added. It all depends on how much you like gin.
Happy new years to all and to all a good night!