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Raise a toast to a newer, healthier you with this new take on the French 75 … with a twist of kombucha

The French 75

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Every January, the health resolutions kick in: eat better, exercise more, maybe stop drinking alcohol altogether. But you know what Oscar Wilde (everyone's ideal life coach) said: "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

I've learned not to get twisted up trying to completely change my life on Jan. 1 – that's an effort doomed to failure. Instead, I try making small changes to existing habits. Who knows, maybe they'll stick if they aren't too onerous. And if one of your resolutions is to nourish your body a bit better, drinking kombucha falls in the "can't hurt, might help" category. Proponents say it strengthens the digestive system and liver, among other claims – and if you drink on a regular basis, taking care of your liver is a thing you should think about.

So, in honor of that new-year-new-you impulse that flickers in all of us, I remixed a classic cocktail into a still-delicious, still-spirited beverage, with the added benefit of (maybe) helping your insides.

Kombucha's tang makes it a natural for sour drinks like the margarita, the whiskey sour – or the lemon-twisted, amped-up champagne cocktail called the French 75. The remixed version, subbing in kombucha for the Champagne, carries less alcohol than the classic, but more flavor, and not all of it from sugar: cutting in some Aperol with the gin sweetens the drink and gives it a rosy hue. Perfect for those rose-colored glasses we all don at the start of a new year.

classic:

2 ounces Champagne

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce gin

1/4 ounce simple syrup

In an ice-filled shaker, combine lemon juice, gin and simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Champagne flute, top with Champagne, and garnish with lemon peel.

remixed:

2 ounces plain or ginger kombucha

1/2 ounce Aperol

1/2 ounce gin

1/4 ounce simple syrup

3 dashes blood-orange bitters

In an ice-filled mixing glass, combine Aperol, gin and simple syrup. Stir, then strain into a chilled flute, top with kombucha and bitters, and garnish with citrus peel of your choice (I used pomelo).

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