Soixante Seize

I don’t know how many variants there are on the French 75, but they all seem to take a name that involves fiddling with the number: French 75, French 74, French 76, et cetera. This weekend’s drink is no exception.

I started with the beautiful bottle of St-Germain elderflower liqueur that Jen bought me on Friday. Because we commemorate our Friday wedding every week with a tradition we call Fizzy Friday, I wanted a drink with champagne. Luckily, a French 77 was among the drinks listed in the cute little booklet that hangs from the neck of the St-Germain bottle.

French 77? 78?Created by Simon Difford, brand consultant for St-Germain and well-known drinks scribbler, the French 77 calls for a shot of St-Germain and a quarter shot of lemon juice poured into a chilled glass and topped with champagne. (Image at right by Jennifer Hess.)

This wasn’t quite what I had in mind, though, mainly because I wanted some gin. I also didn’t want to chill the glassware. Although I’ve no problem chucking cocktail glasses into the freezer, my champagne flutes are a little fragile and I’m more than a little clumsy. Filling glasses with ice water never quite gets them cold enough for my tastes.

So I decided to shake everything but the champagne. Had I just won the Super Bowl or the Mega Millions jackpot, I’d have been happy to shake the fizzy and spray it around the backyard, but such was not the case. After shaking the gin, lemon juice, and St-Germain, I lifted a sample out with a bar spoon and realized two things:

  1. This would be a tasty drink on its own.
  2. And, oh yeah, it already is a tasty drink on its own.

(Even having read Anita and Cameron’s post earlier Friday, I didn’t connect the dots until sampling the pre-fizzy form of our drink.)

Soixante Seize

  • 2 oz. gin (I used Plymouth)
  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ oz. St-Germain liqueur

Technique: Shake over cracked ice and fine-strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne.

In this formulation, the St-Germain is perhaps too subtle. I mixed again with a bit more of the liqueur but didn’t take note of the proportions. Equal amounts of lemon and liqueur would work best for this, I think, especially since the lemon and elderflower meld so well.

Be sure to read Anita and Cameron’s post on Le Bourget to see their thoughts on the lemon/elderflower marriage. Also, if you’ve not seen the lovely St-Germain bottle, check their photoset for this drink.


6 thoughts on “Soixante Seize

  1. Ha, too funny. How many times have you invented a drink, only to realize it’s already been done? 😀 Glad we planted the seed for you!

    But the funny thing is: the 77 isn’t in the copy of the booklet we have. We’ve got The St-Germain Cocktail (equal parts bubbly and StG topped with soda water), the previously mentioned French Apple Martini (1.5 apple vodka, 2 StG, 0.25 lemon) the Mojito Parisian (mint, rum, StG, lime, and the Martini de Sureau (vodka, StG, pinapple, lemon). I wonder if they’re putting different drinks in different batches of booklets.


  2. Heya, Mike! I mixed this up for Russell on Saturday. He’s more a fan of sweet than sour, so we kept upping the elderflower till it was good for him. The final count was 1 1/2oz St Germain, 2oz Hendrick’s gin, 1oz lemon juice. I’ve just made it again for myself the same way, and thought you’d like to know.





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