December 31, 2009

And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

For our New Year's Eve post, I'm of course using champagne, but I'm doing a little something different with it. Not a lot of non-lushes realize that champagne makes a great mixer. You get the effervescence of club soda with the flavor of wine, plus hell, anytime the champagne gets broken out, it's a party in and of itself.

This drink has many many stories as to it's origin, but it seems most likely that it originated just after World War I. Some say it was first made with cognac, which I can see, because cognac and champagne would have a lot of similar flavors going on, both being grape-based spirits, but my version, which could perhaps be considered the British version (as I am an unrepentant Anglophile), is made with gin. Named after the rapid-firing artillery piece that proved so useful to the French in WW I (contrary to popular belief in the US, the French are not the cheese-eating surrender monkeys they're so frequently portrayed as), I present to you, the last drink on this blog for 2009...
The French 75 Cocktail

1 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
2 bar spoons simple syrup
champagne to top

Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a small champagne flute. Add champagne to top. Garnish, if desired, with a lemon peel spiral and/or maraschino cherry.
Rather than the single-minded sweetness that so often plagues champagne, this really is a complex drink. The gin adds a little crispness that's most welcome here, and the lemon juice and small amount of sugar syrup also tweak the flavor profile of your champagne, making for a really interesting drink. The only problem is that it's waaaaay too easy to down two or three of these in rapid succession. And then, well, the eponymous machine gun may feel like it's opening fire on your sobriety...but hell, it's New Year's Eve!

Thanks for sticking with me so far, dear readers. I hope to keep things lively and interesting for you well into 2010 and beyond.

French 75 Cocktail


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