This weekend we went to Boulibar, a new-ish restaurant in San Francisco’s Ferry Building. On the whole it was expensive and nothing special, but I enjoyed their take on a French 75, which substitutes Cognac for Gin and with the addition of a dash of pomegranate concentrate. They topped the cocktail with Cremant, a sub-region of dry French sparkling wine and (often more affordable) cousin of Champagne.
Cognac not only makes a better spirit base in terms of flavor (gin/lemon French 75s can get a bit tart for my palate), the original French 75 made in the 1920s was conceived of using Cognac. Arnaud’s, the famous New Orleans drinking destination, also uses Cognac in their French 75.
We recreated the cocktail at home using Merlet, which has a vanilla and caramel base but also some intriguing earthy notes. The pomegranate concentrate was made using Pom. The Pom was first put on the stove to reduce for around 10 minutes on low heat and 1:1 Pom to Sugar concentrate was made. Aim for a thin maple syrup consistency.
- 1.5 oz Cognac (H by Hine)
- A dash of pomegranate concentrate
- A dash of lemon juice
- ~2 oz Sparkling White Wine (Cremant)
Cocktail Glass or Champagne flute
- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake and strain into flute or cocktail glass.
- Top with ~2 oz of sparkling white wine.
Pomegranate Concentrate Instructions
- Put pomegranate juice on low in a skillet or broad pot (for surface area) for 5 to 10 minutes
- Measure out 1/2 a cup of reduced pomegranate juice
- Measure out 1/2 a cup of sugar and mix
- Optionally put the mixed 1:1 juice and sugar onto the stove on high for 30 seconds to combine the two