The Tale of Two Cocktails

I understand that this is my second post about cocktails, and so I thought clumping two together I may dispel some myths about how much drinking occurs during the summer. Convinced? I didn’t think so, but anyways here are two cocktails – a classic with a twist and an original offering.

“La vie en rosemary” ­­– France 75 with rosemary simple syrup

Until this spring, I had never tried a France 75. When I heard that it included gin and lemon juice, I decided that this would probably be one of my all time favorites given my year-round love for gin and tonics. Although not the refreshing drink the gin and tonic is, the France 75 is one of those cocktails that you’ll need to save for a dinner party or an evening of familial debauchery.

It is a fairly easy cocktail to recreate; its history is slightly more enigmatic. Why the name France 75? It was created in France during the 1920s, and given what some of you may know about Paris in the 20s life was pretty loose, trending towards a never-ending soirée. Given the fact that it was created in post-war France, its creator dubbed it the France 75 after a piece of French artillery that fired 75mm shells. Hence, he arrived at the moniker for the France 75.

While not as deadly as a 75mm artillery shell, I would urge caution while consuming France 75s, because you may soon find that you’ve had one too many. But, enough with the warnings, here’s the recipe for the rosemary syrup and the cocktail itself.

Rosemary simple syrup is a really easy thing to come up with, you just need sugar, water, water, and rosemary sprigs.

30 leaves of fresh rosemary

1 cup of water

1 cup of white sugar

Take about 30 leaves of rosemary, place them in a mortar and pestle, and add a pinch of sugar. Start by bruising the rosemary in order to unlock those flavors a bit, and then place in a medium saucepan. Now add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to the saucepan and place over low heat. Your syrup should never boil, but it should simmer for about 10-15 minutes on low. Once your syrup has simmered for the 10-15 minutes, take it off the heat and allow it to cool. Once it has reached room temperature, strain the rosemary, and place the liquid in the refrigerator to cool.

The juice of 3 lemons (about ½ cup)

¼ cup of rosemary simple syrup

4 shots of gin (I used a French gin because I prefer a more floral gin, but you can stick with the driest of London gins if you like)

Shake well with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Pour the contents equally into highball glasses and top off with Champagne and a slice of lemon. 

Makes about 6 drinks


 “Honey don’t” – Honeydew slushy

I know everyone’s really mad with me about the horrendous name I gave this cocktail. For those who will forgive me, I’ll make you one! This is the follow-up to my cantaloupe cocktail in a series of melon inspired drinks. I decided that I wanted to make a whiskey cocktail that was deserving of the bottle of Whipper Snapper ( that I finally purchased after eying it for months – I repeat, I do not have a problem.

This cocktail is very simple and will yield about two drinks. First, you need to freeze a couple slices of honeydew. I would say that two-2×1 inch chunks should suffice. The frozen honeydew will also, in the case of this drink, serve as your ice and create a slushy texture. No need for watering this cocktail down with ice, because that would ruin everything. Once you have the honeydew, you’re ready to begin. The ingredients are a follows:

Combine in a cocktail shaker,

2-3 chunks of honeydew

3 shots of whiskey (Like I mentioned before, I used a blended whiskey that was close to 80% corn rather than a bourbon whiskey. I feel as though bourbon would be too vanilla-y for this cocktail, but to each their own.)

1 Tbs of honey

First, combine the honeydew and the whiskey in the cocktail shaker. Shake the contents until the whiskey is cold. Next, take an immersion blender and blend the contents – for you fancy blender-owning people, you can just pop it in the blender. Pulse the melon and whisky so that you end up with a pourable mixture, while trying to keep the melon slightly intact so that your drink will be left with a nice melon cube. Now add your tablespoon of honey, and pulse.

Serve your drinks in wine glasses and enjoy your warm summer evening with an ice-cold drink!




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