The French 75, with a twist

There are dueling histories about the French 75: some say it was invented in flapper-era Paris, at Harry’s, the historic bar at the Ritz. Others believe it originated in America, during Prohibition (Luis Buñuel once said, “I never drank so much in my life as the time I spent five months in the United States during Prohibition). Whatever the provenance, the drink has longevity: a century later, it’s still one of our favourites. We like to add a slice or two of fresh cucumber to the classic recipe. Crisp, cool and clean, one drink ensures you’ll be just as bubbly as what’s in your glass. You’ll want at least two.

Soak slices of cucumber in gin (one part per serving; we like Hendricks or Bombay Sapphire) for a few minutes. Then combine the gin with half part lemon or lime juice and a dash of sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker, with ice. Shake vigorously for 1-2 minutes, and pour into a stemmed glass. Top with sparkling wine (Sula Brut does the trick, but use real Champagne if you’re feeling flush).