Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Hour

On Hugh's birthday we had plans for a special bourbon cocktail (the Sazerac), but when we went to buy some of the specialty ingredients, we realized we'd be spending about one hundred dollars on this birthday toast. Shoot.

So we changed directions and somehow, because Hugh spoils me so, we ended up drinking my new favorite drink instead. The French 75:

This drink is the perfect combination of tart effervescence with a barely-there hint of sweet. I mean, gin + champagne + lemon? You can't go wrong. But a word to the wise: this drink is essentially a gin martini topped off with a half glass of champagne, so practice restraint in your drinking speed. Especially if you still have a birthday dinner to cook.

French 75

adapted from Bon Appetit
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 - 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3 - 4 ounces chilled Champagne
  • lemon peel for garnish

  • Preparation
    In cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, sugar, gin, and ice cubes and shake to chill. Strain cocktail into Champagne flute and top off with Champagne. (Alternatively, serve drink over ice in tumbler if it is your birthday and you are trying to man-up a decidedly feminine cocktail, see photo below.) Garnish with lemon peel and serve.

    This drink is White Hot household approved. Enjoy!

    Sidenote: See the champagne flute in the first photo? We have a pair of these and I love them. Hugh's paternal grandparents, Grandmere and Grandpere, received these for their fiftieth wedding anniversary from their best friends. They are the Waterford "Happiness" pattern which I think is just perfect.

    Sadly, G'pere passed away five years ago leaving G'mere to carry on alone. And carry on she has. She is a political-campaigning, orange marmalade-making, letter-writing social butterfly. She has more friends and activities than anyone I know and is likely to say when we talk to her, "Oh, dear old sweetie, I was up making marmalade until 4am this morning, when I realized how late it was!"

    Anyway, we love her. When we got married two and half years ago, I asked G'mere if we could borrow the flutes and use them as our toasting flutes at the reception. She obliged, and when we picked them up she said we should keep them after the wedding, as we had a long life of happy toasts ahead. And so we have kept them and try to use them often for toasting all the big and little reasons we have to celebrate. I keep them out on a shelf in the kitchen; seeing them always makes me smile.

    Cheers, friends!

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