I know what you are thinking: What’s the point of a zero proof French 75? It is said to have been created not long after World War I and named after a French 75mm field gun, precisely because of the kick! No booze, of course, means no kick. But alas, what’s a girl to do when she is in month three of a six-month alcohol-free challenge and she gets a craving for her favorite cocktail? I’ll tell you what: It’s time to get crafty.
My solution involved months and months of taste-testing of zero proof gin alternatives and non-alcoholic sparkling wines. The sparklings proved the most challenging, because most of them taste like either fizzy grape juice or as though you are drinking a sno-ball. Which is fine if you want a sno-ball, but not if you want something that resembles bubbly. So far, my testing has uncovered Hill Street Beverage Company’s Vin(Zero) Brut Blanc and St. Regis Sparkling Brut (Non Alcoholic Wine) as two that I actually not only enjoy, but also continue to keep on-hand at home. Both have a slightly more mellow flavor than the real stuff but are passable in my book.
If you are doing Sober October or just not drinking for any reason, give it a whirl!
Melanie’s Zero Proof French 75
- 1½ to 2 ounces Ritual Gin Alternative or Monday Zero Alcohol Gin (Ritual has a little more bite and Monday is on the laid back side)
- ½ ounce simple syrup, or to taste (you may want to omit if you use the St. Regis sparkling, as it is sweeter)
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- Hill Street Beverage Company Vin(Zero) Brut Blanc, St. Regis Sparkling Brut (Non Alcoholic Wine) or your favorite non-alcoholic sparkling wine
- Lemon twist for garnish
Mix gin alternative, simple syrup and lemon juice, pour into champagne flute or coup and top with non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist. Don’t: Limit yourself to one. It’s alcohol free, so go for it! Do: Tweak the recipe to your tastes and preferences and experiment with things like Elderflower Cordial (available locally at Fresh Market on St. Charles Avenue) in lieu of simple syrup. Bonus Cocktail: Add bitters to the St. Regis to create a quick and easy champagne cocktail, no sugar cube needed. Cheers!
P.S. Don’t forget to tune into the AIA New Orleans Design Awards on Oct. 29. Actor, author and co-owner of the ever charming gift shop and home store Hazlenut on Magazine Street, Bryan Batt is hosting. Enjoy this fun teaser trailer for the event.