Similar to the French 75, the French 77 Pink Champagne Cocktail adds Elderflower Liqueur to the mix. Another great celebratory cocktail for special days!
I know I’ve been remiss about a new champagne type cocktail for this holiday season. I knew what I wanted to do but time keeps slipping away from me. Still…Finally? This French 77 Pink Champagne Cocktail was worth the wait. Similar to my favorite but with the addition of the liqueur as well as combining pink gin with pink sparkling wine, the result is a beautiful sophisticated cocktail.
I’ve long espoused the French 75 Champagne Cocktail as one of my favorites for a holiday or celebration; it has a storied history and is a lovely cocktail but I wanted something different, a bit newer. The French 75 is a combination of gin, lemon juice, and sparkling wine and change little from one listing to another.
But this year I had something new to work with. I received a bottle of Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria Pink Gin’ from the distiller and I wanted something new; just a bit different. French 77 to the rescue!
While the recipe for a French 75 is pretty standard across the board, I found a huge disparity of ingredients in the French 77. Several authors substituted Elderflower Liqueur for the Gin and others simply added some of the liqueur to the mix. I chose that later route; I had to. Making a gin cocktail without the gin wasn’t going to work!
I might call both of these champagne cocktails but in truth I’ll most often use Prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine. They are often far more reasonably priced and just as delicious. Same holds true for Spanish Cava or American sparkling wine. Ask your purveryor for recommendations; a nice bottle in the range of $10-15 is perfect.
What you’ll need to make this French 77 Pink Champagne Cocktail includes: (complete recipe with instructions are at bottom of post)
- Gin (It is lovely with the Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria’ Pink Gin but if you can’t source it, use another good London based gin)
- Elderflower Liqueur (St. Germain is well known but others are available at a much more reasonable price point)
- Orange Bitters
- Fresh Lemons for juice and twist
- Pink Sparkling Wine (I had a Rose and it was lovely)
I added a sugar rim to these because it was pretty but it’s not absolutely necessary. Still if you want to do the same, I recommend the cake decorating crystals from Wilton. They are a much larger grain and bring a lot of sparkle to the presentation.
Now about that gin, what’s with the pink color? Surprisingly several distillers make a version of pink gin although this was my introduction. The tradition of blending gin with bitters was first created by the British Royal Navy to balance out sweet and dry gins…and supposedly to help cure sea sickness.
The distiller has created a well-balanced gin with juniper still at the forefront but with a beautifully harmonious balance of herbal and spiced bitters; the bitters being where the color results from.
Not new, Pink gin was popular during the Victorian era. As Gin Lane 1751 honors the legacy of Victoria era gin, it seems obvious that they would have to create their own Pink gin expression. Their “Victoria” Pink gin begins with the distillery’s gin made with eight botanicals: juniper, orris root, seville orange, angelica, sicilian lemon, star anise, cassia bark, and coriander.
Following distillation, herb and spiced bitters are then added to create the final product which is what also gives it that beautiful salmon pink color.
It seems most appropriate if celebrating with a cocktail that includes a libation with such a history that I would find the perfect glass for them. Something simple enough that the Victorians would welcome them as much as any reveler today. How lucky was I that I had on hand these beautiful Tiffany glasses?
With some surprise I got a message several months ago from a new neighbor; we had bonded over Facebook (mostly about the crazies we see posting there too often!) She loved the cocktails I shared with the group but alas she no longer indulged. What could she possibly do with the gift of a pair of Tiffany champagne glasses?
Well, give them to me! I felt so blessed. Little did Lisa know that I have a glass obsession. I might only buy two at a time but I’ve done that a LOT of times and my cabinets are bulging with glassware. But I knew there would be a special drink that would be perfect for these special glasses and this was it. I am forever thankful; these glasses are really the quintessential champagne glass aren’t they?
Sure the sugar crystals make for some extra sparkle but there is nothing like beautiful cut crystal glasses to elevate the entire cocktail. Thank you Lisa!
More Holiday Champagne Cocktails!
French 77 Pink Champagne Cocktail
- 3 ounces gin
- 1½ oz elderflower liqueur
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Dash orange bitters
- Chilled Champagne Cava or Prosecco
- Lemon twists for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, orange bitters, and enough ice cubes to fill the shaker ¾ full. Shake it until cold, about 15 seconds.
- Pour into champagne glasses, top with chilled Prosecco, and garnish with a lemon peel.