The At First Blush is one of our three sparkling wines and likely the most complicated of them all. A sophisticated blend of Pinot Noir and Muscat gives this wine a soft orange hue and an off-dry body, showcasing subtle flavours of strawberries and rhubarb. The Bright & Bubbly on the other hand is slightly sweeter, and a more brilliant ruby red colour. A more classic blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this bubbly shows more prominent bursts of strawberries with an ever so subtle lingering of cherries on the finish.
While the French 75 is more commonly associated today with trendy upscale bars, it was actually originates in the trenches of World War One!
The origins of this cocktail can be traced to the famous Parisian bar – The New York Bar, where it was invented in 1915 by the iconic bartender Harry MacElhone for French soldiers on leave from the frontlines. In fact, its very name is itself a reference to the famous Canon de 75 Modéle 1897, a very famous and popular quick firing and light bodied artillery canon that was known by most soldiers as simply the “French 75”. By the year this cocktail was invented, 1915, French 75’s were a weapon of choice for the French Artillery Corps, and were already being frequently mounted to vehicles to be used as improvised anti-aircraft weapons. As such, the name French 75 would have been instantly familiar to any French soldiers serving on the front line.
There was of course a specific reason that MacElhone has chosen the popular nickname of an artillery canon for his increasingly popular cocktail – like a real French 75, it packed a punch! MacElhone’s original recipe looked much different than the cocktail we know today, and was originally made with Absinthe, Calvados, Gin, and Grenadine. Strong enough surely to help those poor souls temporarily forget what was waiting for them back on the front lines. Later versions started to include large amounts of lemon juice to give it a strong zesty finish – again, seemingly appropriate for the times. It was only after the war came to a close that this cocktail’s preparation began to take a lighter turn, and by 1930 the recipe used here had become the standard preparation for the now celebrated French 75!
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