"The fourth week they discovered French Seventy-fives, a seasonal favorite concocted of brandy and champagne, which made them laugh long and loud at their newfound wit..." -- Dawn Powell, The Wicked Pavilion
Apparently one of my New Year's resolutions is to undertake a definitive study of the French 75 cocktail to determine which Seattle establishment mixes the very best.
I'm not sure if it's the sunny yellow color, or the fact that I'm a bit overdue for a trip to Paris, but suddenly I'm ordering this long-time favorite every time I find myself out and about.
Like most of our quintessential favorite drinks, the French 75 was created at Harry's Bar in Paris.
Cocktail lore has it that bartender Harry MacElhone mixed the first one in 1915, and it got it's name because it delivers a kick that makes one feel as if a French 75mm shotgun discharged it's shells on one's head.
Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn at the Stork Club
The famed Stork Club popularized the drink in The Sates, and the recipe was first recorded in the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930.
As it happens, that authority of libations says that gin is the key ingredient in the French 75, although some still claim its cognac -- for the record, I prefer gin.
But no matter if you order yours with gin or cognac, how could you help but be happy with one of these at cocktail hour? Part sunshine? Part Paris? Perfect.
Which is why when a snowy evening squashed plans for "Girls' Night Out" in pursuit of the best French food and French 75s, I had to mix my own sunshine in a glass. It's pretty simple:
Shake 2oz of gin
With 1 oz fresh lemon juice
And 1/2 oz simple syrup
Pop some Champagne to top up
Add lemon zest to garnish
Cheers! Here's to Tuesday!