Ce-le-brate good times, come on! (insert mind hum here)
Kool and the Gang could have not made a better song to describe people coming together to celebrate accomplishments.
We use Champagne for different occasions; special events, birthdays, breakfast brunches and of course holidays. So why not spice it up?
We have mimosas and Bellini’s; now we’ll turn it up a notch. The French 75, this is a classic drink that’s dry and crisp with a kick that will knock you in the face. Champagne with an extra shot? yes please. We’ll take a round at marquee.
Bubbles of Champagne with Gin or Cognac mixed in. Add fresh lemon juice and some sugar and you have yourself a French 75.
The French 75
3 oz Veuve Clicquot
1 oz Bombay Sapphire
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
Chill a champagne flute. Combine Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon and simple syrup. Top with veuve clicquot champagne. Garnish with lemon twist.
Time for a short history lesson, French 75 was named after the field gun, French 75. The gun had a nice kick, a very intense gun back during WWI. Since we are in French territory it is safe to say that the original recipe called for champagne and cognac, yet there is some debate that it was made with Gin.
What most of you don’t know is that Champagne and Cognac have very strict rules.
Not all bubbles are alike. Sparkling wine can be made around the world using a traditional method or a less expensive process. Yet, to be called champagne, you have to be part of a very strict club.
Champagne is a controlled region in France. When we say controlled, we literally mean control. The French government strictly regulates champagne and the growers within these regions. For example, champagne growers are only allowed to grow three varieties of grapes. Chardonnay is the dominate grape in the mix while pinot noir and pinot meunier serve to balance out characteristics. All champagne must be made using the traditional method of production. This requires two stages of fermentation. The second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. The wine maker adds a “dosage,” which is a mixture of yeast and sugar, as it is bottled. The bottles are then aged and riddled for months before they are ready for consumption.
Another controlled region in France is Cognac. As stated by intowine.com “according to regulations the Cognac must be aged for at least 30 months in French oak coming primarily from the Limousin and Tronçais forrests in central France. It must be obtained through double distillation in traditional copper Charentais stills. The producers may only distil between November 1st and March 31st following the harvest. And of course the wine used must come from specific white grape varieties”. The most common grape is ugni blanc. Ugni blanc (known as Trebbiano in italy) is a white grape varietal that is used to make about 95% of cognac. The other five percent is Folle Blanche and Colombard.
Only after these steps have been taken are you allowed to call this specific brandy a Cognac.
And to contrast Champagne and Cognac very strict rules Gin is one of the most loosely regulated spirits. With flavors such as rose, lavender, juniper berries and cucumber. Making it one of the greatest substitutes to the original recipe for it brings out flavors and aromas that are pleasant to the pallet and nose.