Do you know what today, December 5th, is? Repeal Day!! If ever there was a day to celebrate cocktails – today is IT. Repeal Day is a celebration of the end of Prohibition here in the US and marks the ratification of the 21st amendment. Now, we all know that Prohibition did not actually keep people away from alcohol – and during this time some of the most beloved cocktail classics were created.
Today I am sharing my riff on the classic French 75. This recipe was first printed at the height of Prohibition in the 1920s but has roots going all the way back to the 1800s when Charles Dickens served “tom gin and champagne cups”. The premise remains the same today – gin, citrus, a little sugar, and champagne.
I am taking this classic and adding a few more elements of citrus and some bitters to freshen it up for the holidays. I think a nice, light cocktail is the perfect after-dinner drink when you’ve consumed something heavy. This citrus forward cocktail will light up your tastebuds and leave you feeling refreshed (and a little buzzed).
For the citrus component I juiced a lovely meyer lemon straight from our family’s lemon tree, an orange, and a blood orange. I also dehydrated some fruit slices to garnish the drinks. I have left a description in the recipe on how to do so! It requires time – but very little energy on your part.
Once the citrus juice is ready, just add that with gin and simple syrup into a shaker and go to town. This is a shaken drink because there is fruit juice included and we want everything thoroughly mixed. After a good shake, strain into coup glasses and top with champagne or brut (which is typically cheaper and easier to find) before serving.
This cocktail would also be a great addition to your New Year’s Eve menu if you want to jazz up the typical sharing of champagne! Celebrate the winter citrus any way you can 🙂
Winter Citrus French 75
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 4 ounces gin (I use Durham Distillery Conniption Gin)
- 4 ounces citrus juice (lemon, orange, etc.)
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- Champagne or brut
- “Bitterless Marriage” Crude Bitters (optional)
- Dehydrated fruit for garnish
- Cubed ice
Dehydrated Fruit Wheels: If you would like to add dehydrated fruit wheels to cocktails, keep reading! This is totally optional, but I think adds a nice touch when you want to be a little fancy. Cut your citrus fruit into thin slices and lay on top of a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place in 200 degree oven for 2 hours. Orange slices require an extra 30-45 minutes compared to lemon or lime slices. When dry to the touch, remove and store in airtight container. You can also dip these in chocolate and enjoy for dessert!
Juice 1-2 lemons, 1/2 orange, and 1/2 blood orange to get roughly 4 ounces of citrus juice. Add to shaker with gin, simple syrup, and ice. Shake 20-30 seconds and strain into coup glasses. Top with champagne or brut and add 6-8 drops of bitters. Garnish with fruit wheel and serve!