Tarragon French 75 Cocktail

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This twist on a classy cocktail is the perfect start to a dinner party.

Tarragon French 75
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Servings:
8

Made with sparkling wine and lemon, a French 75 cocktail is one of those classics that makes you feel more sophisticated the second you take a sip. The third component of the drink is often gin, but this version features warming cognac instead for more wintery take on the drink. And this French 75 recipe has another twist up its sleeve: it's infused with licorice-scented tarragon for an herby depth of flavor. If you're not a licorice fan, just skip it and garnish the drink with lemon peel. We serve this French 75 on the rocks for a more casual vibe, but feel free to pour it into a pretty cocktail glass for an extra shot of chic.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 sprigs tarragon, plus more for garnish

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) cognac

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons)

  • 24 ounces dry sparkling wine (from a 750-ml bottle)

Directions

  1. Make the simple syrup: Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in tarragon sprigs. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Discard tarragon. (Simple syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

  2. Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice (or work in batches). Add cognac, lemon juice, and ½ cup cooled simple syrup. Cover with lid and shake until chilled. Fill 8 rocks glasses with ice. Divide cognac mixture among glasses. Top each glass with 3 ounces sparkling wine. Garnish with a tarragon sprig.

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