The Cocktail Diaries: The Mai Tai
Tiki drinks are a way to escape to the tropics without actually buying a plane ticket. I highly recommend getting started with a Mai Tai.
I think waiting until 10 p.m. on Sunday night to write my blog posts might be a mistake. But I had things to do for most of the rest of my weekend, I swear.
This weekend we interviewed new board members for the Montavilla Farmers Market. I worked with a friend and her mom doing some designs for their premium beef brand. Dave and I made so many good recipes from my beloved Jerusalem: A Cookbook. And we went to yoga. My favorite part was when the teacher was leading us through the warrior poses, and a song in a different language came on. She said “You hear this song? It’s an Indian song. It means ‘This is going to hurt!'” HA HA HA SO FUNNY my quads are still crying… and then we finished off the weekend with a wonderful dinner with friends. It flew by, but it sure was fun.
Oh, and we had this lovely cocktail, the French 75, while we made a nice dinner.
I am at a crossroads in my cocktail making. I have the basics for making some solid classic cocktails. But if I’m going to continue doing these posts, I’ll need to start figuring out what direction I want to go in, and what I actually want a full bottle of in my house.
For example: I adore a sazerac. I do not own absinthe. How little absinthe can you buy at one time? Because I really only want enough to spray on the top of my sazerac. If I buy a 750 ml bottle, I will probably have that same bottle in 2024. (Anyone want to split?) I really do not want to have 50 750ml bottles sitting around the house. But I do want to keep making cocktails. I’d love to hear what’s an essential in your homes.
A great example of this – want to know why I haven’t done a classic “real” martini? Because I don’t have dry vermouth yet. These are the things you think about when you blog about drinks…
Back to the cocktail at hand: The French 75. Phonetically one of the more sexy cocktail names, I think. Although Esquire says it is named after a 75mm gun which is… less sexy, but it refers to the powerful kick this drink has because it includes both 2 oz. of gin and some champagne. Personally, I didn’t find it to be unusually potent. But as most citrus-gin combos tend to be, it was quite refreshing and I can imagine that I could enjoy several before I even had a chance to count them. Danger zone!
Here’s what you need:
2 oz. gin
1 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
dash of lemon bitters, if you have them.
Brut champagne or other dry sparkling wine
In a mixing glass filled with ice, stir together the gin, sugar, lemon juice and bitters. Strain into a coupe or champagne flute. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne.
Rub the outside of the lemon twist around the rim of the glass before using it as a garnish, then serve.