kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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French 75 Cocktail

Gin evokes a "love it or hate it" response in many people. I am definitely part of the former camp. The aroma of juniper, the crisp, clean taste, and the refreshing way it mixes with tonic and lime, or with bitter lemon, make it my favorite spirit. (It's strong aroma is probably the reason that I also like intense wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer...)

The French 75 cocktail combines 2 of my favorite types of beverages--champagne and gin. American army officers created this cocktail during World War I (it's named after French 75-millimeter guns). It originally contained absinthe (now illegal) and Calvados (French apple brandy). At Commander's Palace in New Orleans, it remains one of their most popular cocktails. Here is the classic recipe. Enjoy!

French 75:

1 1/2 oz gin
2 tsp superfine sugar
1 1/2 oz lemon juice
4 oz chilled Champagne
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, sugar, and lemon juice. Shake well. Pour into a collins glass. Top with the champagne. Stir well and garnish with the orange slice and the cherry.