Can 2018 get the hell out of town already? Sending this year off with something bitter and sparkling because it only seemed appropriate. I took a popular classic champagne cocktail, the French 75 (gin, lemon, simple, champagne), and changed it up a bit by adding fresh blood orange juice and Campari. My bitter blood orange riff on the French 75 is the perfect cocktail to send 2018 packing.
The original French 75 was created by Harry Macelhone at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1915. The cocktail was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm Howitzer field gun. The cocktail was popularized in America at The Stork Club in NYC and with its publication in the Savoy Cocktail book in 1930. It also makes an appearance in one of my favorite Humphrey Bogart movies, Casablanca.
Bitter Blood Orange French 75, makes 1 serving
1 oz. gin
1/4 oz. campari
1/2 oz. blood orange juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Champagne or Prosecco
First add all ingredients (except champagne) to a cocktail shaker, fill completely with ice and then shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a slice of blood orange.
The changes that I made to this classic cocktail were so simple yet made such a huge impact on the flavor. Blood oranges have deep red flesh and the flavor is much more intense than a normal orange. This fruit is sweet, bitter, and has a slight hint of raspberry flavor. They pair perfectly with Campari, which is also crimson red and has a bittersweet taste with distinct notes of cherry, cascarilla, clove, rhubarb, cinnamon, and orange peel. As a result of the color of both of these ingredients, and their delicious flavors we are left with a delicious and stunningly hued cocktail.
While many great and positive things happened in my life during 2018, unfortunately, it has come to a bittersweet ending. It only felt right to make a bubbly and bittersweet cocktail to coincide with that. I’m looking forward to the future, continuing to grow my business, and making some big life changes in 2019. But most of all I am most excited for a fresh start and a chance to be happy again. I’m raising my glass and wishing you all a very Happy New Year! xo