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After a hard day lobbing howitzer shells at 18-year-old Germans, nothing helps you forget your worries like a bracing mixture of gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. How else to explain naming one of the most elegant cocktails The French 75, after a massive piece of Gallic artillery? In truth, the drink is a creation of the legendary barman Harry MacElhone, and it’s a master of deception: served in an elegant flute it looks harmless, even feminine, but pack away two or three and you, too, would be trying to capture the Kaiser single-handedly. (This cocktail has a kick just like the big gun did.) The original recipe calls for Champagne, but gin tends to mute its subtleties, so I use affordable Spanish Cava.
2 oz London Dry gin ¾ oz fresh lemon juice ½ oz simple syrup 5 oz sparkling wine
In a shaker combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, add ice, and shake vigorously. Pour sparkling wine into flute and strain cocktail mixture on top.