The French Thing is a French 75 riff that took a few turns.
It now only has the wine and Cognac elements left, but it has become its’ own tasty cocktail.
Some old recipes for the French 75 call for Cognac instead of the more commonly use gin, so I used that combination as a jumping off point.
However, instead of using Champagne or sparkling wine, I used Champagne Syrup.
It wasn’t really Champagne, but it sounds kind of dumb to call it American sparkling wine syrup so I won’t be doing that (sorry to all of the wine purists out there who just stopped reading this post).
TO MAKE THE SYRUP I used 4 parts day old sparkling wine (that was now flat), and one part granulated sugar. That mixture was then simmered until it reduced by half, bottled, and stored in the refrigerator.
It is a nice way to use up flat wine and it is a fun ingredient to fool around with in your cocktails.
So the French Thing was originally going to be Cognac and the syrup shaken with lemon juice to use all the same ingredients as the 75, but that turned out to taste like the original just without the bubbles, which I wasn’t really into.
So I started over with just the Champagne Syrup and Cognac in an effort to create a simple and light drink in the spirit of the French 75, but with its’ own unique flavors.
Using orange flower water.
I had recently been experimenting with orange flower water in a fruity scotch based drink, but it tasted absolutely awful.
The combination of light floral orange a smokey scotch had a distinct wet dog note to it, so that drink was abandoned all together. However, orange flower water was on my mind and I wanted to swap out some citrus flavor for lemon, so I tried it and really liked it.
Typically if you have orange flower water at your home bar it is to make the infamous Ramos Gin Fizz. It has a really light but extremely concentrated orange flavor to it that can make your drink taste like nothing but orange with just a few too many drops, so be careful when you use it!
To balance out the sweet and light flavors that were happening so far it needed something bitter to balance them out.
Cue the Salers Aperitif.
Salers is a bitter Gentian aperitif from France that I have been messing around with a bit lately.
It works really nice to make a slightly herbal flavored White Negroni and it adds a hint of those same bitter herb flavors to the French Thing.
To finish off the French Thing, a little bit of absinthe on the inside of the glass adds a nice light and refreshing note that compliments the Salers.
You can either pour a bit into the glass and swish it around before dumpling it out (or back into the bottle if you are at home), or use a little spritzer tool that evenly coats the glass.
Enjoy this one.
USEFUL LINKS: Stirring Drinks
French Thing Recipe
- 1 3/4 oz Cognac
- 3/4 oz Salers Aperitif
- 1/2 oz Champagne Syrup
- 5 drops Orange Flower Water
- 4 drops Saline - (optional)
- Absinthe Rinse
- Prepare a chilled cocktail glass by rinsing it with absinthe or using an atomizer to spritz the inside of the glass.
- Add the ingredients (not absinthe) to your mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir until desired chill and dilution is reached. (I suggest that it is better to under dilute this drink than to go too far. This can be helped by using a pre chilled mixing glass which will create a cold drink with a bit less dilution.)
- Strain into your prepared cocktail glass