The French 75 Cocktail
While the French 75 might not be exactly like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a gold brick as with Douglas Adams’ Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the French 75 can pack a wallop even if it doesn’t contain any tooth of Algolian Sun Tiger.
The French 75 cocktail is named for the famous 75mm gun used during the First World War by the French (obviously) as well as the Americans after we showed up. The cocktail is suitably named and a perfect match of American and French ingredients: gin and champagne.
I swear, with champagne, it’s just something about those damn bubbles. Then when you add a healthy dose of gin, well…let’s just say you don’t want to have too many of these. But, my, they are good.
The recipe is simplicity, itself: a gin sour topped with champagne. A sort of Gin Sour Royale.
2 oz Gin
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup (or 2 tsp of superfine sugar)
Champagne (or your favorite sparkling white)
Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into champagne flute or fancy cocktail glass. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
You will need to use a largish glass for this one to ensure enough room for about one ounce of champagne. The champagne (or sparkling white) should, of course, be well chilled ahead of time.
This cocktail shows up in Harry Craddocks The Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930. I cannot find any previous mention of it in earlier publications. It seems hard to believe that no one came up with a drink called the French 75 before then, but there you have it. It’s possible it was being enjoyed by ex-pats in Paris after the war and no one bothered to write it down until Craddock. His only comment is that it “hits with remarkable precision.” He also suggests that it be served in a tall glass with crushed ice, making it a sort of Tom Collins Royale, I guess. It’s probably worth a try, but I think I prefer the more elegant, non-iced version.
Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a Frood who really knows where his towel is.
So be a frood like Ford and have a French 75. You can just pretend it’s a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and look for the organizations to help you recuperate afterwards.