The popcorn French 75 recipe is our spin on the classic combination of gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and champagne. The drink was created in the early 1900’s at the New York Bar in Paris and is named for the powerful French field gun. The French just call it Soixante Quinze (Seventy Five), in theory, because the combination of gin and champagne produced a kick reminiscent of the gun. We actually find this cocktail to be a pretty smooth sipper but the power may lie in how easy it is to keep pouring more.
As with most cocktails that have evolved over many years, there are plenty of variations. But the modern understanding what is included in a French 75 was first printed in a cocktail how-to book published in the 1930’s. Moving from Paris’s New York Bar to the city of New York itself, the drink became popular in New York’s trendy Stork Club. If you’re a movie themed cocktail lover, as we are, you’ll also find the drink referenced in Casablanca, two John Wayne movies and the TV series Mr. Selfridge is was set in early 1900’s London. It’s also the signature cocktail of the book Code Name Helene which tells the true story of World War II heroine Nancy Wake.
We’ve never met a version of this drink that we didn’t like but, naturally, we had to popcorn it up as a tribute to our favorite snack. We make homemade popcorn syrup all the time and have used it lots of our recipes. It’s a natural here as well. The classic drink calls for simple syrup which is a sugar and water mixture used to sweeten cocktails. We just make ours popcorn flavored by steeping our actual popcorn in it overnight. We love the little extra flavor.
Since any drink containing champagne makes us want to serve it on New Year’s Eve, we’re thinking this year’s countdown celebration will include a pitcher of popcorn French 75’s. You can use prosecco if that’s what you have on hand because they’re both sparkling wines. But it can only be called champagne if the grapes are grown in that region of France. Wherever your grapes are coming from, we hope you enjoy this delightful cocktail to ring in the new year or whenever you’re feeling festive. Cheers!
To make the popcorn syrup, add the water, granulated sugar and sea salt to a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the popcorn, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Strain out the popcorn and store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To make the French 75 cocktail, add the gin, popcorn syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into two cocktail glasses. Top with the champagne or prosecco and garnish with popcorn.
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