I have been on a bit of a gin kick lately. It started with a simple Gin & Tonic made for me by our very own Colleen McGarry, made with home-made tonic from another friend of ours. I was in love and have been exploring Gin cocktails ever since.
What better & cheaper way to learn about cocktails than making them yourself? I was at a wine shop buying some St. George Mt. Tam Terroir gin ($31, KLWine.com). Who doesn’t love California’s terroir? I dare you to tell me you can’t replace the idea of garrigue with chapparal. This gin is lovely; Inspired by the coastal forests of Mt. Tam, it has aromas of Bay Laurel, Douglas Fir and coastal Sage. This was clearly exactly the gin I needed in my life. I happened to also be buying some sparkling wine, and the guy at the counter mentioned I was just a few ingredients short of a French 75.
I was intrigued by the idea of a fancy new cocktail that I’ve had only once before, and that was before I discovered that I love gin. It was at the Claremont Hotel’s restaurant Paragon (which is awful, by the way, but if you are at the Claremont you don’t have a lot of choices). The cocktail was great, and so I decided to poke around the internet to distill a recipe. I came across the NY Times version and I trust them, so here’s my spin on their rendition of the French 75.
French 75 Recipe
(from the NYTimes)
Simple Syrup (make your own)
Dry Sparkling Wine
(makes 1 cocktail)
Chill your champagne flutes, glasses, what-have-you.
With your vegetable peeler, peel the zest of the lemon for your garnish & set the zest aside.
Cut your peeled lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into a small jar.
Fill your shaker with ice.
Measure & pour 1 oz. gin, 1/2 oz lemon juice & 1/2 oz simple syrup into your ice-filled shaker.
Put the pint glass over your shaker (if it doesn’t have a lid) or the lid and shake for 5-10 seconds.
Remove the pint glass or lid from your shaker, replace with a strainer, and strain the good stuff into your chilled glass.
Top off with sparkling wine (about 2 oz).
Twist your lemon zest over the glass, wipe the skin around the rim and drop it into the drink.
Enjoy this tasty adult beverage on a warm summer night, preferably made at home and consumed in your own back yard. Invite some friends over; you went through the trouble of buying and opening a whole bottle of sparkling, you might as well share!