French Blonde

French Blonde, Cocktail, Downton Distillery

Rumoured to be Taylor Swift’s new favourite cocktail, we must love this too.

Fresh, lightly sweet, and not overly strong, this drink combines grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur (typically St-Germain), Lillet Blanc, gin, and lemon bitters.

The history of the French Blonde Cocktail with Gin is unclear, and there are a few different stories doing the rounds on who created it.

One story about the French Blonde’s origin is that it was created in the 1920s by a Parisian bartender, inspired by the popular Gin and lemon cocktail known as the French 75 and wanted to create a cocktail that was a bit more feminine. He named his new creation the French Blonde.

Another story is that in the 1950s, a professional bartender in New York City created the original recipe. He, too, was inspired by the popularity of the French 75 but wanted to add a modern twist to it. His addition of Elderflower Liqueur gave it a delicate floral flavour, and the new cocktail became an instant hit in the Big Apple before eventually spreading to other parts of the world.

A French Blonde has a romantic feel that's perfect for a Valentine's or any celebration. The balanced, citrusy flavours make it the ideal party drink—plus, it doesn't take too much effort to make, and it's also not hard to sip down more than one. Although it has a traditionally yellow colour, you can use red grapefruit juice to make the cocktail pink and really fit your theme, perfect for sipping on with friends.

Ease of Making: Easy 

Glass Type: Coupe or Nick Nora

Taste: Fresh, light, tart and sweet all in one glass

Recipe:

  • 60ml Fresh grapefruit juice
  • 60ml Lillet Blanc
  • 30ml Great Bustard Gin or Explorer's
  • 30ml St-Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes lemon bitters
  • Grapefruit or thyme to garnish

Method:

  • Place ice into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add all the ingredients.
  • Shake your shaker until it starts to frost on the outside.
  • Strain into glassware.
  • Add your garnish.

Variations:

  • Use pink champagne to top up the drink.
  • Use vodka to replace the gin.
  • Alter the amount of Lillet Blanc to decrease the sweetness.
  • Change Lillet Blanc for another style of vermouth.
  • Use Orange Bitters
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