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Happy 2014!

drinks_french125.jpg

drinks_french125

It goes without saying that New Year’s and Champagne go together like good intentions and broken resolutions.  If you’re looking for a way to make things a little more interesting than just popping the cork on the bubbly, we suggest the following:

Champagne Cocktail
There is no easier drink to make than a champagne cocktail.  Add the sugar cube to a flute glass, dash in the bitters, top with something sparkling. Both white sugar and brown sugar work equally well here, and feel free to experiment with any and all bitters.  If you’re hosting a party, laying out a selection of bitters is a fun way to allow your guests to play mixologist.

1 sugar cube
4 dashes of bitters
Champagne

1.  Add the sugar cube to a champagne flute.
2. Dash in the bitters, coating the sugar cube.  Let sit for a minute so that the sugar can absorb the bitters.
3. Fill the flute with the champagne

French 75
The great thing about a French 75 — traditionally made with gin or brandy (where it’s called a French 125) — is that it is really a basic sour at heart and it lends itself to all manner of sour variations — adding a few dashes of bitters or switching out the main spirit with whiskey, vodka, or whatnot.

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces liquor (gin or brandy are traditional)
Champagne

1. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and spirit to a mixing glass.  Shake vigorously with ice cubes for 15 seconds.
2. Strain the drink into a champagne flute
3. Fill the flute with the Champagne.
4. Gently stir to combine.

French 75 Punch
This is a batched version of the one-off French 75 recipe.  In lieu of the dilution which results from shaking, we add cold water to the the mix, creating a proper sour base, and then pour in the sparkling right before the guests arrive.

6 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces simple syrup
12 ounces liquor (gin or brandy are traditional)
8 ounces cold water
32 ounces Champagne
Ice ring or block

1. Add ice to a large punch bowl.
2. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, spirit, and water to the bowl. Stir to combine.
3. Add the champagne.  Gently stir to combine.

Yield:  Sixteen 4 ounce servings

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