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French 75: Teaching an “Ole Dawg” Older Tricks

November 16, 2011

Lat night two snobby cocktail geeks came into the bar nad ordered a round of French 75’s.  As I pulled the glassware and began to mix, these two with egos the size of Dolly Parton’s boobs then began to question and correct my preparation and technique, then back treading with”We will try it YOUR way..”  Once served, they began to chat just loud enough for me to hear them for the opposite side of the bar half looking my way saying Bar X where they learned about the French 75 “made it this way and it is SOOO good!!”

I admit, they got under my skin.  And with my blood boiling hot enough to light up a Blue Blazer, I did my best to remain calm on the exterior:  I am in the hospitality business after all.  I also needed to keep my ego in check.  I felt challenged, and not in a curious way but in a way that made me wanted blind side them both with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

I have had some pretty terrible drinks in my life in various bars.  I have seen technique defended to a bartender’s dying breath that was as wrong as two left shoes.  But I have never EVER, pointed it out to the bartender. I sat quietly, did my best to choke down the drink, tipped admirably, and made sure not to order that drink again from them.  If asked, I will chat in conversation, not as instruction.  It would be like walking into the kitchen and correcting a chef’s saute technique.  Insult.

I was wrong in my presentation, however.  I have had many French 75’s in my day.  It was one of the first classics I “learned”, nad shame on me for not pursuing a little more research in this drink.  I am very proud of what I know about cocktails, mixology, and drinking history.  But I am not so proud that I cannot admit when I am wrong.

And in this case I was wrong.

After going back and looking at some research, I discovered that the French 75 is a long drink! Served in a tall glass over ice!  Never knew it.  It had always been served to me chilled in a champagne flute.  Who knew?

Everyone but me apparently  (the two ego boobs asked for it in” um m…what’s it called?  Oh, a ‘martini’ glass.”like BAr X served it (it’s a cocktail glass, sweetheart).

This has sparked a mission for me during the quiet winter months.  I plan on going back to the basics a little.  Running some fundamentals and reminding myself that even and old dawg like me still has plenty of room to learn.

French 75

  • 2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • 4-5 oz brut champagne

Shake gin, lemon, and simple syrup with ice and strain into an ice filled collins glass.  Top wth champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

So to all the folks in the past twenty years that I have incorrectly made the French 75, I apologize.  And to the girls that came in last night, I thank you for sparking this post, and my new quest.  Next time please leave the attitude at home with your jaded boyfriends.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Roy permalink
    November 16, 2011 12:54 pm

    No way, I’ve made them wrong too! (Not surprising though, ’cause you’re the one that trained me, haha)

    Keep me updated on your serch through the classics!

  2. November 24, 2011 2:16 am

    I would never question a drink coming from you. You know you are very well versed and we can’t know everything, we can only try to. Besides, they know they need a good old pride obliterating B&^% slap. Good luck with the new podcast, I am looking forward to it.

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