Give Gin a Chance with the Cocktail that's Named After a Gun

Give Gin a Chance with the Cocktail that's Named After a Gun

When the subject of Gin is raised in polite conversation, some people get downright vicious. "Gin tastes like pine trees!" "I hate Gin." "I hate martinis." "I hate..."

Ok, let's take a breath. On the one hand, kudos to anyone for having an opinion. On the other hand, opinions can be changed. And the right cocktail - regardless of your spirits preference - can be eye-opening, life-affirming, and opinion-swaying.

"If you don't like Gin, you haven't found the right one yet"

Now, I am a firm believer that everyone can enjoy every spirit - provided they find the brand and application that satisfies their palate. This is especially true with Gin because there are so many variations in this era of artisan distilling.

In fact, about a month ago, I converted a Gin-hating friend by serving her a Gin Sour made with Barr Hill Gin, a gentle spirit flavored with honey. Purists (who insist, with good reason, that true Gin is juniper-forward) wouldn't call it Gin, but then it ain't Whiskey either.

My point here is that opinions are based on experience, and the way to change them is to provide a better experience.

French 75: Gin's "gateway" drink

And when it comes to Gin and swaying someone who flatly dismisses the stuff, I tend to opt for an unconventional Gin wrapped in the layers of a French 75. But, I don't tell them that it's a Gin drink. I'm evil that way.

French 75 Propaganda PostcardNamed for the French 75 millimeter field gun used in World War I, the French 75 - as we say in the book - "will hit you like cannon fire." It's strong - sugar and alcohol literally do "go to your head" - but subtly so because of the citrus and bubbles.
If you think this sounds suspiciously like a Gin sour - Gin, sugar, citrus - you'd be right. But nothing makes a spirit go down - and be lifted - like a dose of fizz.

For those of you who already accept Gin as "the" spirit, good on you. For those of you who don't - or for your friends who are misguided naysayers - mix up some French 75s and say "oui, oui" to Gin.

And, if you refuse to embrace the juniper spirit, you are forgiven. Simply sub Cognac or Brandy and you'll have yourself a French 125.

French 75 Recipe

French 75 / Photo: FLICKR - MADAME MEOW1/2 oz. (15 ml) simple syrup
3/4 oz. (22 ml) strained, freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. (45 ml) dry Gin
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

1. Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin in a mixing glass.

2. Fill the glass three-quarters full with cubes, cover, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, 15 seconds.

3. Strain into a flute and top with chilled Champagne.
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