Champagne is one of those drinks everyone associates with a lasting memory.
Maybe you drank too much at your cousin’s wedding and had a really bad Sunday, or maybe you toasted the love of your life on New Year’s Eve. Or, if you’re super rich, maybe it reminds you of last weekend when you were popping bottles of Cristal at the club, as pop songs lead us average-folk to believe. But, good or bad, everybody has a champagne memory.
My favorite champagne memory takes me back to this past New Year’s Eve, which my bearded love and I rang in donning PJs and playing guitar hero. We drunkenly toasted each other loudly on an otherwise very quiet evening, he with beer and me with my newly-discovered favorite cocktail of all time: the French 75.
The French 75 is sometimes considered a brunch drink, although my 75s are a bit more potent than most. You take a standard cocktail: gin, lemon, syrup, and top it with your champagne of choice. It’s slightly dry, slightly sweet, strong, bubbly, very refreshing and it feels incredibly fancy – but it’s so easy!
I make a few variations on French 75s, and most of them cut back on the sugar (I often sub out the syrup with St. Germain, and it’s florally fantastic). This particular variation gets some of the sugar from a very natural source – strawberry puree.
Making this cocktail feels a lot like getting ready for a party – after you make the base (which would be tasty on it’s own), adding the champagne and strawberry garnish feels a lot like putting on your nicest dress and putting the finishing touches on before walking out the front door.
It just adds that “something extra” that it needs to be something truly special (that I drank on a regular plain ole’ Saturday).
- 2 oz. gin
- ½ oz. strawberry puree
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. champagne
- strawberry for garnish
- Make the strawberry puree (put a bunch of strawbs in a blender. You're done.)
- Add the gin, ½ oz. strawberry puree, and lemon to a mixing glass with ice. Shake.
- Strain through a small sieve into a champagne or rocks glass. Top with champagne, add strawberry.