Nothing says celebration quite like Champagne. To wit, a quarter of all bottles purchased in the United States are sold in the week leading up to New Year’s Day. By the time the ball drops, some 360 million glasses of sparkling wine will be consumed. But let’s not leave the cocktail drinker out in the cold. There are, after all, plenty of liquor arrangements incorporating fine French bubbly into the fold. Of them, none have proven quite as durable as the French 75.
Riffing on this classic creation is Michael Neff –a legend in his own right– and Beverage Director at The Three Clubs in Hollywood. His ‘Take Me Anywhere’ cocktail positions the barroom staple as a celebratory sipper to ring in the New Year. As such, there’s hardly a more appropriate choice for our Cocktail of the Week.
“[It’s] named for a song by The Cure. I’ll let you guess which one,” offers the accomplished, bi-coastal barman. “But in its bleak way, it speaks to new beginnings, which is where we find ourselves with a new year.”
Making the “Take Me Anywhere” Cocktail
Neff turns to the vibrant citrus notes of Brooklyn Gin to form the backbone of his seasonal send-up. The zesty botanical baseline is augmented with the rich spice of Aromatic Bitters, and a tropical edge courtesy of a Mayan-inspired Guanabana Liqueur by Huana. “Champagne tops it, for celebration.” Since there’s wiggle room here, Neff uses a more accessible label, such as Marquis De La Tour. You can opt for added elegance with Veuve Cliquot.
Take Me Anywhere Cocktail Photo Credit: Three Clubs // Michael Neff Photo Credit: Brooklyn Gin
The classic French 75 is characterized by a pleasant dryness, subdued effervescence and a well-disguised heat that mischievously sneaks up on your senses. Neff’s variation is no different, save for the added vivaciousness of Caribbean fruit to help heighten the mood. At The Three Clubs your drink comes with added reverie as the storied dive celebrates 25 years as a star in the Los Angeles nightlife scene.
– 1 oz Brooklyn Gin
– ½ oz bitters
– ½ oz Huana Guanabana Liqueur
– ½ oz lemon juice
– Champagne to top
To prepare the ‘Take Me Anywhere’, Neff shakes the first four ingredients with ice before straining and pouring it all into a coupe. The Champagne flows atop all. “I garnish it with a paper flower, and best wishes for the New Year.”
Want to make the ‘Take Me Anywhere’ yourself? You’re going to need a good bottle of gin!