This elegant cocktail, featured in my book “Soirée Entertaining with Style”, is a classic mixed drink of gin, Champagne, simple syrup and lemon. The story of the French 75 goes back to around 1915 when Harry MacElhone created it at the New York Bar in Paris. It was brought to the U.S. by returning World War I pilots and became a popular drink at New York City’s Stork Club. The name comes from a 75mm French field gun that was said to have the same kick as the drink. The perfect cocktail to start the weekend!
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12 ounces Boodles British gin
8 ounces lemon simple syrup (see recipe below)
8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (8 to 10 lemons)
1 bottle Champagne, chilled
8 chilled Champagne coupes filled with crushed ice
In a large pitcher, combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice and stir. Fill chilled Champagne glasses with crushed ice and fill the glasses about one third of the way with the gin lemonade. Top each glass with about 2 ounces Champagne just before serving.
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Lemon Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
Zest of 2 to 3 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes clear. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add lemon zest and juice. Pour into a container. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.