Another year has come and gone, friends. And with a new decade, election, and world on the horizon, I wanted to share something easy, delicious, and elegant that you could make to ring in the new year with style. Let me introduce you to the Ginger French 75. If you’ve never had a French 75 cocktail, it’s basically sparkling white wine, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup mixed together to make one of the most refreshing and effervescent creations on earth.
To make it a little extra herbal and give it a warm kick, I incorporated fresh ginger into the simple syrup, plus some lemon peel in the syrup for a touch of floral flavor and voila! The Ginger French 75 was born. There’s also lemon peel that you place in the glass when you serve it as a garnish, but note that that’s a different piece than the one that goes in the syrup (the syrup lemon peels get all soft, and we want the decorative lemon peel to keep it’s shape!)
I have detailed directions on perfecting that beautiful lemon peel spiral garnish below, so make sure to read through them if you want your garnish game to be on point. In the meantime, friends, I wish you a happy New Year, and look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the new decade.
The Perfect Lemon Peel Spiral
For the perfect lemon spiral garnish that fits snugly in your champagne flute, I recommend using a vegetable peeler to peel as long a piece of lemon peel off the lemon as you can. Ideally, the piece should be about 1 inch wide. For the length, cut your peel strip into a 6 to 8 inch piece. Roll it up around your index finger (like you would a sleeping bag) and use a bobby pin or paper clip to clip it in roll position. Slide it off your finder and place it in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.
Assemble the cocktail and pour it into the respective champagne flutes. Remove the clip from the rolled lemon peel and rinse it under cold water to defrost it a little so that it’s more flexible. Holing the top end of the spiral, gently pull the bottom end down so that it’s dangling in a spiral. Slowly lower the dangling spiral into the flute until it fills the vessels. And voila! You have the perfect lemon peel spiral garnish.
Ginger Lemon Simple Syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 3- inch strips fresh lemon peel (with no white pith, just the yellow peel)
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring every couple minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon peel. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then strain and refrigerate it. Makes about 3/4 cup of syrup.
Ginger French 75
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons quality gin such as The Botanist
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons ginger lemon simple syrup
- 1/2 cup dry sparkling white wine chilled
- 1 lemon peel spiral prepare as directed in the blog post body copy above
- Empty the gin, lemon juice, and ginger lemon simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with cubed ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds to chill the mixture. Strain and evenly distribute between two chilled champagne flutes.
- Top the mixture with 1/4 cup sparkling white wine per glass. Place the lemon peel spiral in each glass, holding it at one end and gradually lowering it into the flute. Serve immediately.