Please welcome Grace Teague to my blog. She’s one of the five wonderful writers behind One Lucky Night. If you haven’t got a copy of it yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Other retailers.
The French 75 is a drink that has a bittersweet, storied reputation, which is why I chose to include it in my novella, “Lucky Star.” The anthology, One Lucky Night, is set in a bar, so drinks count.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the French 75 was invented at the New York Bar in 1915, and was named for a gun that rarely missed its mark. An article by David Wondrich states the recipe first appeared in print in 1927 via a “bootlegger-friendly” book called, Here’s How! The French 75 was said to be a favorite of the lost generation, including Ernest Hemingway.The cocktail was featured in Casablanca, one of the most romantic films of all time.
I chose it for my main character, Charlotte, because I thought it would be telling about her personality. For instance, even though she frequents The Brazen Head, she doesn’t have a lot of money for drinks. The French 75 is feminine but still remarkably potent. It’s an efficient way to wipe away the stresses of the day without having to drink whiskey. Plus it shows a little bit about the types of movies she likes, and that even when she cuts loose she does it in a nerdy kind of way.
An elderly gentleman at the bar strikes up a conversation with Charlotte because of her unique choice in alcohol. One of the interesting things about the French 75 iis how old it is. Once you know the history, it becomes more difficult to place the friendly, older gentleman’s age by the type of drink his wife preferred. It’s a detail that hints at the nature of The Brazen Head’s most mysterious guest.
A lot of places have different measurements for a French 75. Some claim it should be served in a cylindrical Tom Collins glass with a spiral of lemon peel and others say it ought to be presented in a champagne flute. I don’t think there’s a right way, so here is a basic recipe cribbed from many sources.
Two parts gin or cognac—The Brazen Head serves it with gin
One part simple sugar syrup
A squeeze of lemon juice
Champagne, the dryer the better
A spiral of lemon peel
Shake the gin, syrup and juice together over ice. Strain into a glass of your choice. I imagined a Tom Collins glass for Charlotte’s drink, because I couldn’t picture the bartender, Sean, busting out a champagne flute. Finish with champagne and garnish with a lemon peel.
Use this conversation-starter of a drink to impress your party guests. Or, like Charlotte, use this intoxicating mix to gird up your confidence in order to confess your inappropriate feelings for your best friend.
The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.
For more details on the book and authors, go to my One Lucky Night Release Day Blast Post
Grace Teague lives in Pittsburgh with her spouse, children and a cat named Mr. Sushi.