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Cheers! The "French 75" and its kick

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

French 75

1-1/2 oz gin (Detroit City Distillery Railroad gin) 1/2 oz lemon juice 3/4 oz simple syrup 2 oz champagne/sparkling wine Garnish: lemon twist Shake first three ingredients with ice, strain into champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish.

The debate about raising the speed limit on Michigan freeways to 75 miles per hour made Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings think of the cocktail called the French 75. 

However, the French 75 is actually named after a World War I artillery piece, the French 75 mm field gun.

“The gin is thought to give the drink a ‘kick’ like a 75 mm field gun,” Coxen explained.

The drink was introduced in 1915, but over the years the origin of its name became confused. Some bartenders decided if it’s French, it must call for cognac.

“If you got to New Orleans, they’re going to make it with cognac and that’s fine too,” Coxen said. “The original recipes do call for gin.”

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
The French 75.

Coxen used Detroit City Distillery’s Railroad gin.

Here's how DCDdescribes its gin:

"Our London-style gin meets at the crossroads of alchemy and botany with the finest juniper, cardamom, citrus and spice."

Coxen says this cocktail is pretty easy to make and pretty forgiving if you get the proportions off a little.


Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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