First of all, let's back up and appreciate the fact that I'm still going strong with this alphabet theme on my posts. You would've thought by now I would've just given up, but I'm kind of stubborn like that, so onward through my ABC's I go.
Which brings me to "K." Not the worst letter. Not the best. I considered a kabocha squash curry but I couldn't find any of the squash (too late in the season I think). Then I thought... "hey maybe some Kielbasa sausage?" Yeah, that could work.
And then I stopped by my favorite wine/liquor store (Wise Old Dog... seriously it's the best) and spotted some Kirsch. I've never actually had it, but suddenly I was determined to do something with it.
See? So random.
Kirsch is a cherry brandy. I'll be perfectly honest, I was mostly drawn in by the packaging. (I'm a sucker for good packaging). Isn't it pretty? And then I found out it's a locally made product from Connecticut with cherries from upstate New York near Niagra Falls. Done. I was buying the kirsch. End of story. (Westford Hill Distillers if you're interested). As a bonus, it will also come in handy this summer when making fruit-based ice cream to keep it from freezing too hard.
Next up... what to do with it. I had every intention of concocting something before I left for a recent work trip but then I got sick and had some major car issues. (Like, a blown tire and a rat's nest in my engine... yeah, gross).
But you know, they say everything happens for a reason? I was definitely not supposed to make this cocktail until I came home. Little did I know I would be inspired in little ol' Eugene, Oregon.
It happened to be sunny and beautiful in Eugene during my visit, and I was actually done with work in time to enjoy it. When I sat down at a cute little French bistro on the patio and flipped open the cocktail list to see a French 75, I needn't look any further. As you know, I love me some champagne, and as far as champagne cocktails are concerned, a French 75 is my go-to. (I've been known to even turn it into a jello shot).
A traditional French 75 is just gin, lemon, sugar and champagne. But at Marche, they also added an orange liqueur and a Luxardo cherry. Clearly, I downed two of these. I realize Luxardo cherries are kind of ridiculous at about $18 per jar, but I love them. I seriously love them. And I already had some at home. And while we're on the subject of favorite products, I'm also in love with St. George Botanivore gin. It's the perfect gin for making cocktails. (Also purchased at Wise Old Dog. Obvi). I decided to sub the Kirsch in for the orange liqueur and suddenly I had a perfect use for my Kirsch!
And really, that's it. Just shake together the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and kirsh with some ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a champagne flute with a lemon twist and a cherry at the bottom and top off with your favorite sparkling wine. (Jean-Louis is a nice one for cocktails).
MMMM.... If I close my eyes and sit in the sunniest part of my apartment it *almost* feels like I'm back on that sunny patio. (OK, it doesn't at all, but it's still a damn good cocktail). Cheers!!
French 75 (with Kirsch)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Keywords: cocktail gin lemon champagne kirsch
Ingredients (1 cocktail)
- 1 ounce gin (such as St. George Botanavore)
- 1/2 ounce Kirsch
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar)
- 3 ounces champagne
- lemon twist (for garnish)
- Luxardo cherry (for garnish)
- Combine gin, kirsch, lemon juice, simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for about 15-20 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled champagne flute prepared with a cherry and lemon twist. Top off with champagne and serve.
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