Cocktail Time: French 95

Is anybody else sick of eating? I’ve been in Texas for a week, and after all these days of nonstop festive feasting and cooking, I never want to see a fork and knife again, much less a kitchen!

I think it’s high time we all sit back and have a drink. It’s time for a cocktail recipe.

Today’s hippest and most creative bartenders are taking a look back through cocktail history for inspiration and are breathing new life into long-forgotten recipes and concoctions, many hailing from the pre-prohibition era. These “revivalist” mixologists sneer at the sight of a cosmopolitan and cheer for a properly prepared old fashioned or sazerac. The most devoted aficionados adhere to an complete turn-of-the-century aesthetic, decorating their bars in mahogany and gaslights, while sporting waistcoats and waxed mustaches. Prepared mixes, artificial flavorings, and overly sweet drinks have been replaced by freshly squeezed juices, complex flavor combinations and high quality liquors. Vintage and artisanal cocktail bars are popping up all over the US and beginning to appear in Europe as well, and prices have skyrocketed for out of print cocktail books, vintage signs and paraphernalia.

Here is a delicious variation on a classic vintage cocktail, the French 75, which is traditionally made with gin, champagne and lime juice. This version includes bourbon and orange juice for a deeper flavor with southern roots.

French 95

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz OJ
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Simple syrup or a teaspoon if fine ground sugar

Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe or champaign glass. Top with champagne and lemon twist.

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