Cocktails have been around for hundreds of year, but ever now and again, some genius comes up with a cocktail that is truly outstanding and sets the benchmark for a particular blend. Having recently spent some time hanging out with Brandhouse’s mixologists, they suggested that I try a cocktail that suited, what they thought, was a good fit with my personality and style – the fantastic French 75.

The perfect blend of gin, champagne, lemon and orange liqueur – the French 75.

The story around this cocktail goes something along the lines of the following. During WW1, the famous Harry MacElhone of Harry’s Bar in Paris, created a cocktail for returning fighter pilots, named after the artillery gun French 75. Harry thought that the name was appropriate as the drink and the gun had something in common – both had a serious kick to it. I can attest that this drink does indeed have a mighty kick to it – and should not be underestimated.

The cocktail is certainly not the cheapest cocktail around. While it is relatively simple to make, the ingredients usually come at a premium, and should you wish to get the true taste experience, then cheaper alternative ingredients should not be used.

The ingredients are:

1. About 30ml (or one tot) of Gin – for the perfect taste, I suggest use the premium Tanqueray 10 gin for it strong citrus notes

2. 15ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice – please do not use bottled lemon juice, rather buy a lemon

3. 15ml of Orange Liqueur –┬áCointreau and Combier are the best for this

4. Champagne (not sparkling wine) – a good dry Brut is best

Important – Before starting, make sure every element is well chilled. In a mixed, add the gin, lemon and orange liqueur and shake well. Pore into a champagne glass, and top up with the champagne. Add some orange rind should you wish for a stronger citrus taste.

The mixture of the champagne, gin, lemon and orange liqueur developed a powerful citrus cocktail, that is extremely drinkable and enjoyable, but which will also kick you in the head 3 weeks to Sunday – so be warned.Also, while making the cocktail, we did a quick cost what one drink may set you back, and all in all, a glass may cost your around the ZAR350 mark.

But, I can tell you, its well worth it.