The iconic French 75, a cocktail with a larger-than-life history, takes on a new twist. Blending Caribbean insouciance and French flair, say hello to the ‘Belmond 75’ from La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St Martin.
“Of all the gin joints...”
The French 75 boasts a starry history, both on the silver screen and within the world’s most legendary bars. While its origins are shrouded in mystery, it has worn many hats to fit our different moods in its lifetime. From the tonic that soothed to the sparkling drink that incites debauchery, it’s the perfect cocktail of its time. Whenever that time may be.
A hundred years ago in Paris at Harry’s New York Bar, the French 75 would have been the drink to ease that lost generation. It was a tonic for those seeking meaning, an elixir for the restless surrealists eager to create a new world of thought and speech. In short, a cocktail to knock one’s senses flat: a one-two punch of Calvados or Applejack, Gin, Absinthe, lemon juice, and grenadine.
Fast forward to the end of the Roaring Twenties and the French 75 would come to embody a decade defined by The Great Gatsby. This is a time when Champagne towers and bawdy pre-code Hollywood films fill our imaginations. This is the French 75 of The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). The Prohibition Era speakeasies, Billingsley’s Stork Club in Manhattan and the all-night Howard Hughes film premieres. A cocktail to toast to—a grand slam of Gin, sometimes Absinthe, lemon juice and Champagne.
Of all the sea-side haunts…
It’s in Saint Martin, among palm trees swaying in the soft, tropical breeze, that the French 75 has begun a new chapter. Reimagined as the Belmond 75, this fabled cocktail becomes the perfect antidote to our supercharged lives. On any given night at La Samanna, the Belmond 75 effortlessly embodies the cravings we long for year-round. Dazzling sunsets, the soothing hum of steel pans, and the languorous feeling of having nowhere to go but here.
Fill a shaker half full with broken ice and add:
Shake well and strain into a cocktail coupe. Top with champagne and garnish with an orange twist.