Gin is not bound by constraints like season or weather, but given its refreshing character, it is often reserved for warm-weather sipping. As a result, many gin drinks like the French 75 receive the same treatment, shelved during fall and winter as people make room for hot cocktails and hearty whiskey favorites like the Manhattan. There is a simple solution to this quandary: Expand your horizons and recognize gin’s year-round potential. However, if you want to nudge a refined classic like the French 75 into an autumnal direction, that can be arranged.
The French Harvest was created by Denver-based writer Linnea Covington. It’s a fall-appropriate take on the French 75 (gin, lemon, sugar, Champagne) that features Nolet’s silver dry gin, simple syrup and lemon juice, but skips the Champagne. Instead, it finds bubbles via sparkling cider, giving the cocktail a welcome apple kick that you can appreciate during the holidays and colder months.
Nolet’s gin is floral and fruit-forward, with peach, raspberry and rose included among its botanicals. Its fruity profile works well with the slightly funky Le Brun organic cidre from France. If you can’t find this brand, you can swap it out for any dry sparkling cider you like.
The combination of gin and cider balanced with simple syrup and fresh citrus is almost enough to make you forget the traditional Champagne version. Fortunately, there’s no rule that says you have to choose one over the other.
Add the gin, simple syrup and lemon juice into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
Strain into a Champagne flute.
Top with the cider.
Garnish with a lemon peel.