Have you decided how you’ll be celebrating tomorrow night? Whether you’re going out with sequins, or staying in with blankets, a drink will be necessary to toast the New Year. I’ll be enjoying my new favorite year-round cocktail, the French 75, which was named in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris. People said this drink was as powerful and hard-hitting as the French 75mm field gun, but was easy to drink because of its subtle taste. I was practically giddy when I met with the East Side Showroom Executive Barkeep, Julianna Fry, to learn the simple recipe.
“When you look at the ingredient list, it’s so short but it packs so much more than that. For most people it’s the lightness of the drink that attracts them,” said Julianna. She noted the French 75 is ordered by a wide range of people, but the drink tends to attract customers who are already gin drinkers. “More women seem to be attracted to the drink because of the bubbles. Bubbles typically draw more women because it feels more feminine.”
How to make a French 75
Ingredients and Materials:
- Sparkling white wine or champagne
- Fresh lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- A martini glass
- A cocktail shaker and strainer
- A jigger for measuring
- In the small half of the shaker, add .5 ounce of the fresh lemon juice.
- Add .5 ounce of the simple syrup.
- Add .5 ounce of Gin. (East Side Showroom uses Monopolowa Dry Gin as their house gin, because it brings out the juniper. They tend to go through 16–18 bottles of this particular gin a week.)
- Fill small shaker over the top with ice, cover with tall half of shaker.
- To keep the lemon very bright, do a quick and vigorous shake of less than 30 seconds. Just as you start to feel the drink going from mainly ice to being more liquid, it is time to stop.
- Strain the drink out into your martini glass making sure to hold back the ice. Give the drink a little bit of air. (Julianna added that the Martini glass helps keep the proportion really nice. You still get the crisp spike from the lemon, and it also opens up the nose of it. You get all of that citrus and bright notes right at the top.)
- Add the little splash champagne to top it off. (Tip: when opening your bottle of champagne, be sure to turn bottle, not the cork.)
- Toast and sip your French 75.
To make your drink extra special, add a small lemon twist garnish.
If you’re not a gin drinker, spins on the French 75 include the French 76, which substitutes vodka for the gin, and the French 77, which uses elder flower liqueur in place of the gin or the simple syrup to make it extra botanical.
East Side Showroom was opened about 5 years ago by the mom and daughter duo, Mickie and Trudy Spencer. The Showroom is located at 1100 East 6th Street Austin, TX and their doors open everyday from 5 p.m to 2 a.m.
“We’re very warm and cozy. It feels like a good place to be to when it gets cold out, so we get a lot of good winter business. Especially when you just want a good, boozy drink. There is a wall of liquor waiting for you,” said Julianna.
East Side Showroom will offer each person at the bar a glass of complimentary champagne at midnight, and I am not one to pass on free champagne or the chance to toast to the New Year with the one I love.