I slowly drove my slightly rusted white sedan, which had been owned by my grandfather up almost until his untimely death in his living room chair, up the wandering mountain road, my destination a “log cabin” of sorts, the wedding venue of the valley for weddings, large, small, and expensive. I was headed there for another reason, though, on this early spring day, one of those where the leaves are just starting to pop out and the earth gets that sweet smell that is otherwise hard to describe. I was dreading woefully that this would be one of those stuffy banquets. The black and gold email invitation promised to not be one of those stuffy events, but really, should I have believed it? You’re not supposed to believe pretty much anything on the internet, right?
Well, in short, I totally should have believed it. As my aged car creaked up the hill, the valet took my jumble of keys, most of which I hadn’t used in about 5 years, but had some strange trouble getting rid of, and quickly disappeared my car out of sight. I will say I am not usually one for valets, but I can’t be faulted for a little subtle bourgeoisie-ity once in a while, right? As I walked up to the door, the mayor, yes, the mayor, held smiled, his oil slicked back hair gleaming under the sunset.
This was much grander than I thought it was going to be. I walked in, was greeted with a deep burgundy Sangria specked with orange and yellow of citrus, made my way over to my coworkers, and into the ballroom. It was one of the most beautiful sights that I had laid my eyes on. Food and drink stations as far as the eye can see. No assigned seating at tables (victory!) and as much delicious food and drinks as we could grab from the stations. There were empanadas, croquetas, fresh tuna tacos, sriracha meatballs, and of course, a whole station dedicated to Prohibition Era drinks. A friend of a friend walked over with a metal martini glass, and he, half in the bag already, said “You want to try this? It’s a French 75.” I, of course, obliged. The citrusy bubbly refreshingness of this drink almost knocked me straight on my feet and onto the burgundy floral carpet and it wasn’t because of the alcohol. I had found my new drink.
The French 75 has probably become one of my favorite new drinks, but as always, I felt the urge to put my own spin on it. This classic drink is usually champagne, lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. I don’t even like gin, but I love this. In this version, I have subbed lime for lemon, prosecco for a more traditional champagne for a little added sweetness, and made it easy by not having to make a simple syrup. This is insanely refreshing and elegant, but easy enough for a casual or impromptu summer get together.
The Cuban 75
Notes: Please make sure all of your ingredients are super cold. You can even shake with ice if you would like before serving. As always, drinks are completely subjective to each individual’s taste and desire to be completely wasted. Please adjust this to either one of these.
- Juice of ½ of a lime
- Two teaspoons of sugar
- 1 ounce of gin
- Enough champagne to fill the rest of your glass (just buy a bottle!)
- Wine or champagne glass
- Measuring cup
- Peel your lime to get a long strip of lime zest, this will be for garnish.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the measuring cup and mix in the sugar until it is completely dissolved.
- Add the gin, and stir that as well, to mix in the lime and sugar mixture.
- Open the champagne bottle if you haven’t already, being careful not to hit the kids in the face with the exploding cork, and fill the rest your glass with champagne.
- Place the lime zest on the side of the glass so you can appear extra elegant, make some tostones, and enjoy!