The French 75 is a classic cocktail, something you'll find in dusty old tomes or hipster bars. Fancy from champagne, bitter and complex from gin. A touch of sugar, a splash of lemon. Served up in a tall and shapely glass so you feel like you are doing something nice for yourself.
It's Friday happy hour here at our Cider Table, the first real day of spring in Pittsburgh with temps damn near 90. Before we headed out to dinner at our favorite al fresco (and really, just favorite) restaurant (Cucina Bella), we decided to whip up our cider-y take on this old school cocktail...with a little Pittsburgh twist.
A Pittsburgh 75. Doubly appropriate because we were both born in 1975.
We subbed Wigle Ginever, a whiskey-based gin from our fair 'burgh, for a dry gin. Threadbare Dry Hopped, an exceptionally floral cider from Wigle's sister cidery, brings the bubble and fruit instead of champagne. No lemon in the house so we pulled out a couple Cara Cara oranges, lending the cocktail a beautiful pink hue. You could use (traditional) lemon or lime or grapefruit. You just need some acid. And here's our pro tip: always keep a jar of simple syrup in the fridge. With it you can whip up an Old Fashioned in ten seconds flat, or you are ready to make this cocktail on the fly.
Pittsburgh 75 Cider Cocktail
2 ounces Wigle Ginever (or a your favorite gin...please something with some character)
1 ounce Cara Cara orange juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup...a bit more if you like your cocktails sweet
Shake the gin, citrus, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker till frosty cold. Pour into a coupe glass or Collins glass. Champagne flute. Whatever. A glass with some height or an interesting shape. You want to see the bubbles and feel a little posh. Top with cider.