The French 75

July 21, 2014

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: Jenny is taking a little break -- but first, a cocktail.

The French 75

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Among the greatest pleasures of this short and complicated life we’ve all been given is the ability to tell others what to cook. 

Those of us felled by bossiness can disguise this poor attribute as helpfulness -- look at this wonderful recipe I unearthed for you! In general terms, few can credibly criticize sharing, and recipe suggestions are nothing but good hints with the warmest intentions, even when one is making a suggestion that involves the procurement of mastic crystals.

Several years back, I suggested to Amanda that maybe she should permit me to run through Food52 and look for some weeknight recipes to enjoy and share. The gals were really a pajamas operation at that point, so she and Merrill let me talk about whatever while I kept my day job as a newspaper reporter. People, I was one of you. Only my stove was weird. 

For roughly five years, I spent nearly every Monday exploring all manner of chicken breasts, quick breads, crock pot roasts, salmon dishes, and random cocktails with you all. The idea of this column, originally called "Jenny's in the Kitchen," was simple: find recipes I could easily cook for my family on a weeknight, and share them with fellow home cooks who were equally busy and also hungry. 

More: Over the years, we've collected our favorite Jennyisms. Here are installments one, two, and three.

We cooked together during a big cross country move, through hard winters and hot summers. I was here making boo-boos and finding gems. Through sharing them with you, I learned the proper temperature for baking fish (high!) and when I could skip garnishes (always). Oh, there were painful moments, such as when I had the temerity to feature a carbonara with green beans. We talked it out. Sometimes, like when I spent the weekend covering the shooting of Gabby Giffords, it was best to say very little. And still, we ate.  

I made friends with so many of you through the comments section, and occasionally I was blessed enough to come together over meals with you in the real world. 

You told me when recipes worked, and when they did not. You shared your stories of mothers and grandmothers long gone, of children and their birthday cakes, of husbands and wives and weddings and grills and zesters and house guests who refused to leave but whom you cooked for anyway. 

I have met many people. There are no better ones than Food52ers. MrsWheelbarrow showed up at my new house in Washington with a tomato plant. Chef Gwen and mcs3000 came to book events, even though we had never met before. An entire DC metro crowd gets together to eat cheese and talk about our lives at least once a year. This is what community means: sharing our interests, our tastes, our joys, and sometimes our sorrows, through the one global manifestation that we all share, which is the need to fill our pie holes.

For now, I must rest, but not before sharing one last recipe with you all, a summer cocktail designed to please. The French 75 is a classic cocktail, which is my preferred category, but with a whimsical twist. The author here prefers Hendrick’s. I prefer Green Hat. Perhaps that is because I have gone native. Cointreau is your wild card. Prosecco keeps it old school, and lime makes it balanced. Friendship makes it shared. I love you all. Cheers. 

The French 75

Serves 2 

2 shots gin 
2 shots Cointreau
Big squeeze of lime
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
Sparkling wine (Champagne or Prosecco), chilled

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


anne June 28, 2015
Still missing you! Any chance of returning to us?
MoRoMo October 29, 2014
Jenny! You are my trusted source for weeknight dinners and a comforting read. This is my favorite column on Food52 and I'm sorry I missed your departure. I took some time off after a grueling campaign and have largely ignored the internet for 3 months. Thank you for your soy saucy chicken and your many, many ways with salmon. I haven't made those wine cookies yet, but hope to soon. Raising a French 75 to you.
sue September 12, 2014
I learned that French 75 was made with Champagne with a brandy float! And that was it; no other additions. Try it; it's refreshing but with a kick!
Zsuzsa August 9, 2014
I love French 75 - but this version is not as good as my go-to one, which is 1 oz. gin, ½ oz. simple syrup, ½ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice topped with Prosecco. It is much lighter and cleaner tasting without the Cointreau.
mklug August 5, 2014
Aw. I will miss the column--it was like checking in with a friend each week! But a wonderful cocktail to go out with--my total favorite. We had pitchers of them at our garden wedding two years ago and one sip brings back such lovely memories...and now I'll have happy thoughts of you, as well.

YellowTulips August 4, 2014
I've enjoyed your column so much - I will miss you. Having a lot of balls in the air is always a challenge. Make memories with your family; time passes too quickly. Best wishes!
drbabs August 4, 2014
How did I not see this? You know, I never could figure out how you managed to do everything and still write a column every week. I want you to know that I love and value you-- I could count on the recipes you chose to work, I could rely on your humor, and I deeply respect you as a journalist. You've honored me by choosing so many of my recipes, and that has given me confidence to create time and again. Thank you for all of it. I will miss your fun weekly columns, and hope that I do get to meet you in person one of these days. (If you're ever in Austin.....). Much love and gratitude. Cheers to you.
Pamela F. July 29, 2014
Best WIshes, you will be missed, I will miss your posts.
workmomcook July 29, 2014
So very sad to not have your voice to make me smile and think and cook! Every time I come to this site, your column is the first thing I read. Good luck with all endeavors and thanks for ending with the French 75 -- an old favorite!
jessfood July 28, 2014
i'm not sure i've ever commented and yet i have been coming to this site since it's inception. i have also been following your column since the beginning and seek it out each time i am on the site. thank you for taking the time to write it despite an already full plate. i am proud to have been a member of the jenny fan club and will keep an eye out for your name here and elsewhere in the future!
Fairmount_market July 27, 2014
Thanks so much for sharing your wit and wisdom all these Mondays. I'll miss your column terribly.
BostonDiner July 27, 2014
I have always looked forward to your postings -- and have even cooked quite a few of them. I understand the need to take a break, but I'll miss your by-line.
Scribbles July 27, 2014
A French 75 is my favorite cocktail! It's brings back such fun memories of cruises with my girlfriends - we meet for cocktails before dinner and traditionally, at least one night, we have a French 75! Thanks for this recipe, the memories and all the fun recipes you've shared. Hope you are back soon cause we miss you already!! Blessings.
Chef G. July 26, 2014
Thank you for your wit, charm & practical advice as you worked your way through these recipes. And thanks for everything else, too. I'll always be a fan.
mcs3000 July 26, 2014
You deserve a rest and a huge toast. I love this colum - will continue to cook from the recipes and your book (what other book makes one feel like they MUST make Twix at 11 PM). Jenny, you are the best!
Kristen M. July 24, 2014
I will miss you, Jenny.
Laurie H. July 23, 2014
It's a reference to the 75mm field artillery shell
Cucinista July 23, 2014
I have to know.......why the French 75 name?
davidpdx July 22, 2014
I have always regretted that I moved from DC just as J was moving in. Her postings have been a delight. I have learned a lot about food, life, and good writing, and her words always made me smile. Thank you for the wonderful time.
Brette W. July 22, 2014
What a well put and heartwarming farewell. Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes that you have shared with us over the years!!! I will never stop finding recipes that immediately make me think, "So Jenny."