Sitting next to me was a great friend and drinking buddy of mine. The waitress set down his standard bourbon in front of him and then set a champagne flute in front of me. My friend looked over with a confused look and in one sentence questioned my sexuality, insulted my wife and degraded the French before asking what it was. Once I told him, he asked if he could try it.
I have always enjoyed variations on the champagne cocktail served in the restaurants all over Paris and eagerly order the specialty of the house on most occasions. My current favorite is from the Rôtisserie du Beaujolais, but let’s save that for another time. The French 75 is slightly stronger than many other champagne based apéritifs, but a good balance of flavors.
I like the smooth flavor of Plymouth gin in this drink. Start with a cocktail shaker filled with ice and add 1 ounce of gin, add one teaspoon of bakers sugar (also called superfine and ultrafine) and the juice of one lemon wedge. Shake vigorously and pour into a champagne flute. Fill the remainder of the flute with the champagne (or prosecco) of your choice.
This is a great drink anytime of the day and all year long, but is very well suited to warm weather, green grass and lazy afternoons!
1 oz gin
½ tsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon wedge
In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, sugar and lemon juice and shake well with cracked ice. Strain the gin mixture into a champagne flute. Top off with champagne.