Even though we don't really have a winter, I'm glad it's officially over for one reason, the fruit. There's just not a lot of choices during winter, but once spring and summer roll around the store is brimming with berries, watermelon and cherries. I always keep a few different ones on hand for snacking, but I also love finding different ways to incorporate them into salads, desserts, sauces and of course cocktails.
When it comes to cocktails, French 75's are definitely something that always catches my eye on the menu. After decided that I would rather eat my dessert instead of drinking it, I started searching for alternative options that wouldn't be drowning in sugar. The refreshingly simple combination of champagne and gin laced with a bit of sugar and twist of lemon is delicious.
As much as I love the traditional French 75, I felt inspired to create my own version to kick off the first official week of spring. Blackberries and raspberries are two of my favorite berries, so I whipped up a mixed berry simple syrup for my cocktail. Simple syrups are literally just water and sugar boiled together, so I don't know why I don't make them more often. Maybe now that I've reminded myself how easy it is, I'll be more inspired to play around with my own flavors. (If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.)
When I first tried a French 75, I didn't know there was gin in it. I could taste the champagne and lemon, but couldn't figure out what else was in it. I don't know much about gin and didn't know what it really tasted like until Evan got this at home gin making kit. It's super simple to make, so now we usually keep some on hand. And it is exciting to tell people you make your own gin.
I wanted to make one more change to the recipe. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint: it's something pink and bubbly...a brut rosé! I've started to see sparkling rosés more often and since you know I love bubbles and rosés, I've been trying them every chance I get. I love the combination of the light floral notes in the rosé paired the sweet berry syrup rounded out by the acidic lemon juice. Plus how beautiful is the color?! It would be gorgeous on an all white table with pops of copper or gold and big bowls of fresh berries.