September 6, 2009

French 75

To make a French 75

• 2 parts gin (Bombay Sapphire preferred),
• 1/2 parts lime juice (Rose's, of course)
• 1 tsp of sugar
• lemon peel for garnish
• chilled champagne (the better the champagne, the better the drink. Or just André)
• champagne coupe (you know, the saucers)

Mix the lime juice and sugar with ice, strain the ice, pour into a champagne coupe. Fill to the top with champagne, place a long peel of lemon on top, then serve. Preferably on the Riviera, or the Dalmatian coast. Lacking that, make sure everyone around you looks as fabulous as the drink.

Esquire's drink pages usually work for me (see their gimlet, manhattan, etc.). And their little history of the drink is pleasant enough. But I can't help but disagree with their recipe. Sure, it's a lot more alcoholic than mine. But a collins glass? Lemon juice? Yes, yes, that's a traditional way to do it. And I won't begrudge the  lemon juice (it's a tasty variant). In fact maybe what I'm making should be called a French 73. But the coupe and the lime just make it so... decadent. And that's something that's missing from the way Esquire describes the drink. This drink is designed for decadence, the south of France, swimming in the ocean, yachting, slowly dancing with a beautiful woman to jazz, and embracing the feeling of the idle rich.

I've been told that every kind of drink asks a question. A cheap beer asks, "what kind of trouble can I get into?" A martini asks, "what's the meaning of life?"And a French 75 smiles at the questions, laughs, then asks if you've ever chased the sun around the Cote d'Azur.

*Note--be careful. It's a sneaky little kick of a drink.

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