Christmas is the perfect time to make your own cocktails. And this one is so easy to make!
If you can't indulge in a cocktail at Christmas, when can you!?
I first tried this cocktail when we had after-work drinks in a lovely bar in London. After perusing the cocktail menu, we all decided on a French 75. It's all we drank, all night long, and let's just say we were a little merry by the time we left. Thankfully the corporate credit card came in very handy that evening! Ahh those were the days. (FYI we did work extremely hard, so they owed us a couple of drinks).
You can make a large batch of this cocktail and it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. So this is really handy to have for when guests pop in throughout the Christmas season. Offer them a mince pie and a glass of this and they will soon be feeling the festive spirit.
We usually serve this on New Years Eve. We prepare it so it's ready to hand to guests when they come in. One year my husband greeted guests with a tray of these dinks when they stepped out of their car. It's a tradition friends are keen to keep!
Ingredients for the sugar syrup
100g/3½oz caster sugar
50ml/2fl oz water
Ingredients for the cocktail
2 handfuls ice
30ml/1fl oz brandy (or gin)
15ml/1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
champagne, to taste
1 lemon twist, to garnish (optional)
For the sugar syrup, put the caster sugar in a small non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and pour in the water. Stir and bring to the boil. CAUTION: boiling sugar is extremely hot. Handle very carefully. Use a deep pan to avoid bubbling over.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour 10ml/2 teaspoons of the cooled sugar syrup over the ice along with the brandy and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Channel your inner Tom Cruise from the film Cocktail.
Strain the mixture into a flute or cocktail glass, using a cocktail strainer. If you don’t have a strainer, any kitchen sieve will work just as well.
Top up with the champagne and stir gently to mix the drink. Garnish the French 75 with a lemon twist if you fancy being a bit posh. Cheers!