A few years ago, Keith and I went to a craft cocktail bar in Seattle. We asked our server what we should order, with the caveat that it not be very sweet. “I don’t know,” she said, “I like my cocktails to taste like sugar.”
I like my cocktails to taste like alcohol.
The good news is that the French 75 can go either way. If you’re a sweet-cocktail person, add more Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup; if not, add less.
The French 75 cocktail was first poured in 1915 at a bar in Paris, a mixture of Champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar. It was said to have the kick of a French 75mm field gun, thus the name.
Just as in my homemade tonic water recipe, I prefer the zing of fresh citrus that’s lost once you involve heat. So, instead of making a traditional simple syrup on the stove top, I whisked superfine sugar into fresh Meyer lemon juice and let it dissolve. With a vigorous whisk, sugar dissolves quickly in the acidic juice leaving you with a zesty-fresh and sweet syrup.
- Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 ounce Gin
- 1/2 ounce Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
- 2 ounces Champagne
In a small bowl, whisk Meyer lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. (Makes enough syrup for 4 cocktails)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ounce Gin and 1/2 ounce Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup. Shake well and strain into a Champagne glass and top with Champagne. Stir gently and serve.