For The Love of Lemons

When life has given me lemons, I’ve happily devoured them.

While many covet sweet sensations for dessert, I have always found satisfaction in all things sour. Unsurprisingly, lemon meringue pie has been my favorite after-dinner indulgence: in my mind, diving into a layered slice is equivalent to heaven on a plate. With its slightly scorched top, sunshine-yellow insides, and crust as fragrant as it is flaky, it is a hard treat to beat.

However, such a delicacy can conjure up a thirst, and it makes one desire a liquefied counterpart. Lucky for you and me, there’s a certain cocktail that grants that wish.

With the arrival of summer, I’ve concluded that a fresh and easy way to feel cool and collected in the blossoming heat is to utilize my favorite citrus in a bubbly and breezy beverage: the French 75, or, if you want to be truly fantaisie, the Soixante Quinze.

While this light and airy concoction first appeared on the scene in Europe in 1898, its popularity soared in America during Prohibition in 1927, cementing its legacy as “the most powerful cocktail in the world.” It's simple but effective mixture of lemon, gin, and champagne have stood the test of time and remains a classic and classy addition to any occasion.

Still, there is room for customization: if you want a version that’s more autumn than summer, substitute the gin for cognac, and if you just can’t let go of your sugar craving, Prosecco is champagne’s flirty Italian cousin.

This month, I encourage you to be smart… and try something tart.

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French 75 Ingredients:

  • 1 cocktail shaker
  • 1 ounce of gin
  • ½ ounce of lemon juice
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup
  • 3 ounces of brut champagne
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Directions:

  1. Fill your shaker three quarters full with ice.
  2. Add the gin, lemon juice, and syrup to the frosty insides, and shake well, putting a towel over the top so you don’t freeze your hand and so you prevent the liquid from escaping.
  3. After seven or so shakes, strain into a champagne flute (or whatever glass you have on hand, I won’t tell).
  4. Top the medley with champagne, and garnish with a lemon twist by wrapping a long section of lemon rind around a straw and then perching it on the rim of your drink.

Now you’re ready to sip, relax, and savor!