Inspired by one of my all-time favorite movies, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 American crime classic The Godfather, this cocktail is a riff on the French 75, which typically calls for gin or Cognac, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, Champagne, and a lemon twist. For a not-so-subtle reference to the film, I swapped out the usual lemon juice for fresh-squeezed blood oranges, which are in season from December through April.
The juice has a deep red color (catch my drift?) and bright, citrusy sweetness, while the orange itself actually has a bit of symbolism in the The Godfather: According to a few eagle-eyed film buffs, oranges pop up throughout the film to foreshadow death (a little bleak, I know, but it is a mob movie after all). To balance out the acidity and bring out those lively orange flavors at the same time, I ditched the simple syrup and used Cointreau, an orange-flavored liqueur with a light sweetness, instead. The Prosecco topper adds a refreshing effervescence that would make this drink feel right at home at the wedding of Don Corleone’s daughter. —Erin Alexander
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe was developed in partnership with Cointreau. —Food52
Shake the gin, Cointreau, and blood orange juice in shaker filled with ice. Double strain into a flute or coupe and top with Prosecco. Garnish with a strip of blood orange zest (squeeze the zest over the cocktail to release the essential oils, then run the zest strip around rim of glass before plopping in the cocktail).