During our recent trip to France we took the opportunity to immerse ourselves in some of the delights that comes from France, mainly the food and drink. We indulged in the delights of fresh croissants, cheese, daily baguettes, ratatouille and the many wines! In one of the towns we visited, Saumur, they produce a sparking wine known as Cremant du Loire. They also have a sparking red sparkling that is a very interesting and, if you ever get the chance, you should try it! We found a particular favourite Cremant du Loire from the Ackerman Winery on a previous trip and got the opportunity to visit their caves (pronounced like calves). The winery started in 1811 by a self-taught Belgian man called Jean-Baptise Ackerman, who found that the soil in the area great for growing grapes and the caves carved out for the building stone to be perfect for making and storing the sparkling wine.
Given we were experiencing all things French, we decided that our cocktail of the week should be inspired by this trip and settled on a French 75, or in French; a Soixante Quinze! (Yes, the French have a very odd numbering system!). The drink is known to date back to World War I and was created at the New York Bar in Paris. It was further developed into the drink we know today over the 1920s. The drinks original combination included calvados, gin, grenadine and absinthe, as well as the champagne, and was said to have such a kick that it felt like you had been shelled by the French 75 field gun! I think I will give that experience a miss! It became popular in the 1940s after appearing in in a few films, most notably Casablanca.
For this weeks cocktail, you will need:
- Champagne Flute
- Measure of gin
- ½ measure of lemon juice
- Your choice of sparking white/champagne
- Tsp of sugar
To prepare the cocktail, place the glasses in the fridge to cool them down. Take the gin, lemon juice and teaspoon of sugar and put them in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well before straining the mix into the cooled champagne glasses. Fill the rest of the glass with the sparkling wine and stir gently.
There you have the soixante qunize! A simple and refreshing drink that is perfect as an aperitif!