Despite the habit of self-labelling their achievements (consider the French kiss and French fries as a case in point), the name French 75 did not originate in France, but at Harry’s – a popular New York City bar – in 1915. This same bar is said to have given birth to the Bloody Mary, the Sidecar and the Between the Sheets. Considered quite a “powerful” drink (it’s got quite a kick), it was named after a 75 mm WWI field gun. The grapefruit twist in this version renders it rather more bitter than its ancestor, but no less celebratory. Bottoms up!
Stir 45 ml gin, 30 ml Campari, 45 ml rose infused simple syrup and 45 ml lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the cocktail into a glass, filling it halfway. Top with 200 ml chilled Leopard’s Leap Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir. Garnish with sliced grapefruit and lemon peel.
A TOUCH OF SPARKLE
When making a bubbly cocktail, forget about Champagne and Cap Classique and go straight for an unpretentious, dependable sparkling wine. Dry, crisp, yeasty wines make the best cocktails, as you can sweeten them up with syrups, infusions and liqueurs, while still retaining a satisfyingly tart bitterness.