Let's be honest - this is the kind of cocktail that could get a girl in trouble. Don't be fooled by the delicate-looking facade. First of all there's gin...double the typical cocktail amount. And it's topped off with champagne. Like the French 75-millimeter field gun, the 1898 artillery from which it gets its name, this little beverage delivers a rapid-firing, explosive kick.
The French 75 is a classic cocktail, first appearing in print in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. So it's a buzz rich with history. In this case, we added some herbs. The days are fast approaching when we'll want our cocktails to be warm and heavy, to brace against the cold, but that day has not yet come. We're still looking for something bright and fresh and bubbly, and muddled herbs seemed like they'd add an extra perk. Tarragon is a fitting herb choice because it's a flavor common to French cuisine...plus I love the way it looks as a garnish.
To keep it classic, omit the tarragon and garnish with a lemon twist. Or up the French factor by replacing the gin with cognac. Either way, get ready for some World War-worthy recoil.
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)