If you’re a fan of the classic gin and tonic, then you’ll be intrigued by the floral and sophisticated French 75 cocktail. This delightful blend of dry gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of champagne (although you can also use gin prosecco or other sparkling wine) is a smooth and refreshing sipper that is perfect for the summer season.
A few months back, I stumbled upon the French 75 made with cognac and instantly fell in love. I had first tasted this elegant and flavorful cocktail in New Orleans, where it had become quite popular. However, I later discovered that the more well-known version of the French 75 is actually made with gin. Intrigued by this revelation, I decided to dive deeper into its origins.
Embracing the Art of Craft Cocktails
My fascination with exceptional gin cocktails began a few summers ago when I attended a craft cocktail class. Witnessing the meticulous approach of a talented bartender, I learned that no detail is overlooked, from carefully crafted simple syrups to the selection of the perfect glassware and garnish. The pride and attention to detail that goes into these libations truly elevate the drinking experience, and the gin and champagne cocktail is no exception.
To create a memorable Gin French 75, you will need a few key ingredients:
- Good Quality Gin
- Simple Syrup
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Twist
Now, when it comes to selecting a gin for this cocktail, the choice is subjective. However, for a standout libation, our personal favorite is Hendrick’s Gin. Its herbal and botanical notes, along with its remarkably smooth finish, make it the perfect companion for this delightful concoction.
The Magic of Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in many cocktails, providing a touch of sweetness and effortlessly blending the flavors. While you can experiment with flavored options like rhubarb ginger or guava, for this gin and champagne cocktail, I recommend sticking to the classic 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Here’s how you can make your own simple syrup:
- In a saucepan, combine equal parts water and sugar.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the simple syrup to a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid.
Using simple syrup in your drinks adds a touch of sweetness without the grainy texture that comes from using plain sugar.
Gin and Champagne: A Perfect Pairing
Contrary to popular belief, this version of the French 75 does indeed utilize gin. And not just any gin, but good gin. Now, what constitutes “good” is subjective, so feel free to use your favorite brand. However, if you want a truly exceptional experience, I highly recommend Hendrick’s Gin for its remarkable flavor profile.
A Twist and a Squeeze
Before you dive into the magical blend of gin and champagne, it’s important to prepare your garnish. Surprisingly, you’ll need both lemon juice and a twist of lemon for this recipe. To save yourself some trouble, zest a whole lemon before juicing it. This way, you’ll have a long, thin peel of lemon rind ready to add an extra zest to your cocktail.
The Allure of Bitters
Bitters, traditionally used for medicinal and digestive purposes, have found a new home in the world of craft cocktails. While digestive bitters are typically enjoyed post-meal, tincture bitters are used sparingly in cocktails and food. For your dry gin drinks, you can opt for common choices like Angostura bitters or Peychaud’s, a beloved favorite in New Orleans. Alternatively, explore the realm of specialty or homemade bitters for a unique twist.
Exploring the World of Bubbly
All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. True champagne must come from the designated champagne region in France. However, when it comes to mixing cocktails, using high-quality French champagne can feel like a missed opportunity. Save those exceptional bottles for savoring on their own. Instead, opt for a good drinkable bubbly like Kirkland Prosecco, Spanish Cava, or Cremant De Bourgogne. Look for the “Brut” label to ensure a dry sparkler that complements the flavors of the cocktail.
A Celebration of Flavor and Elegance
The Gin French 75 is a lighter and more floral variation compared to the cognac French 75 cocktail. This makes it an ideal choice for late spring and summer, especially when hosting alfresco get-togethers on the patio. Picture yourself sipping this cocktail while mingling with friends, enjoying the ambiance created by your favorite Pandora channel. It’s the perfect way to celebrate life’s simple pleasures.
Appetizers to Complement Your Cocktail:
- Veal and Pork Country Pate
- Prosciutto and Date Palmiers
- Smoked Salmon Pizza
- Savory Mushroom Tartlets
- Accras De Morue
Sparkling Wine Cocktails You Might Also Enjoy:
- Cognac French 75
- Bloody Champagne Bellini
- Champagne Passion Fruit Cocktail
- Ruby Thyme Spritzer
- Sparkling Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail with Honey Syrup
Don’t forget to Pin This Gin and Champagne Cocktail for future reference!
Cheers to the perfect blend of gin, champagne, and unforgettable moments!