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Essential Journal

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Spotlight Shots: French 75

Making our way through the silver screen and the printed page, one hangover at a time

words by Will Halbert

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
-Rick Blaine, Casablanca

You can’t talk about cinema cocktails without mentioning the silver screen classic, Casablanca. And you can’t talk Casablanca without casting your mind back to everyone’s favourite man behind the man behind the bar; pouty-faced nihilist and proprietor of Rick’s Café Americain; Rick Blaine. He’s a bourbon man above all else but that’s besides the point: Casablanca is both a rallying call for romantic revolutionaries and a roll call of sophisticated spirit-based sippers.

The French 75 is one such sipper. Both heady and historic, it’s a bombshell of a cocktail that gets its name from the 75mm anti-personnel guns used by the French field artillery in World War I. It’s fancy, it’s fierce, and it goes a little something like this:

2 ounces Cognac or gin (we prefer Cognac here at EJ Towers)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
3 ounces sparkling wine (preferably dry Champagne)
Garnish with a lemon peel

Here’s looking at you, kid.