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French 75: Guide to the Classic Cocktail

The French 75 is a classic cocktail that you can find at most delectable bars. Its history is a little blurred: some sources say that it was created during WWI and soldiers drank the concoction out of a 75 artillery shell, while others say it was created in the early 1900s in London. No matter when or where the French 75 was created, it is my favorite “starter” cocktail. (Starter Cocktail - The first cocktail that is ordered at any restaurant, regardless of the cocktail menu.)

For me, it all started one evening when I didn’t know what cocktail to order. A friend nudged me and said, “I know what you’ll like.” She confidently turned to the bartender and said, “She’ll have a French 75.” 

Outwardly, I smiled and said thanks. Inwardly, I said…ummmmm, this better be good because I don’t have the ingredients to be polite right now.

The bartender presented me with the prettiest cocktail. It was a light yellow and bright, garnished with the fanciest lemon peel I’d ever seen. I don’t know about you, but pretty food/drinks always taste better to me. 

With one sip of the French 75, I was in love!! Now fast-forward a couple of years and a cocktail guide later, I have realized 1 simple truth…

If a bartender can make a well-balanced and fresh French 75, the rest of their cocktails will be amazing. Thus, why the French 75 is my starter-cocktail. 

In creating this guide, I grabbed a few friends to drink and rate some Midtown’s French 75s. We selected bars that were close via Uber or within walking distance from one another. Cool Moms don’t drink and drive. We visited Cameo, Alchemy, Tsunami, and The Beauty Shop.

Rating Scale (1-5, with 5 being the best)

Alcohol Content - The strength of the liquor

Pizazz - Any added flavors or elevation

First Appearance - Prettiest

Overall - Overall rating

 

Cameo @Cameo_mem

1835 Union Avenue

$12

French 75 cocktails

Alcohol Content - 4.7

Pizazz - 2

First Appearance - 4

Overall -3

 

Alchemy @alchemymemphis

940 Cooper Street

$6.50 (Happy Hour)

the best cocktail

Alcohol Content - 5

Pizazz - 1

First Appearance - 1

Overall - 2.3

 

Tsunami @tsunamimemphis

928 Cooper Street

$10

my starter cocktail

Alcohol Content - 4.5

Pizazz - 5 *It was made in front of us with lots of flare!

First Appearance - 4.75

Overall - 4.75

 

Beauty Shop @beautyshoprestaurant

966 Cooper Street

$16

French 75s

Alcohol Content - 3.5

Pizazz - 4.75 *The cucumber was new!

First Appearance - 5

Overall - 4.41

If you have an idea about a particular cocktail guide that you’ll like to see, let me know! I’ll do the leg work and go around drinking them for you (it's a tough life for me)! And if you’d like to join me, let me know that too. This can be something else "You Can Do on a Date Night with Your BFF".

Side Note: We did all of these drinks, plus 1 more (that shall not be named) in a single night!!!  I woke up 30% hungover. I took nothing to remedy this and just toughed it out. Luckily, I didn’t have to work. One friend awoke 10% hungover because she drank a hydration pack before going to sleep and another when she woke up. She was also able to work that day. Another friend was “okay” after taking a lot of ibuprofen! The last friend, well, we have no idea how she fared. She was dropped off at home and was next seen in New Orleans with another French 75 in her hand. 

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