If you’re in the mood for a drink that’s as elegant as it is refreshing, look no further than this citrusy and floral French Blonde Cocktail recipe. This chic and elegant drink is a harmonious blend of smooth gin, fragrant elderflower liqueur, crisp Lillet blanc, a splash of grapefruit juice, and a dash of lemon bitters. It’s the perfect choice for any occasion, whether you’re enjoying a sunny afternoon or toasting a special evening. And guess what? It’s reportedly Taylor Swift’s new favorite cocktail!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Ideal Aperitif: With its refreshing and crisp flavor profile, the French Blonde is the perfect aperitif to stimulate your appetite before a meal or enjoy alongside a charcuterie board during happy hour.
Customizable to Taste: Tailor this recipe to your liking with ease. Adjust the ratios or experiment with different types of gin to find your perfect drink.
Taylor Swift Favorite: Swifties will love sipping on this drink knowing this is Taylor Swift’s favorite cocktail. It’s a beautiful and delicious cocktail…Taylor’s version.
- Gin: Choose your favorite high-quality gin. Choosing high quality ingredients can really make a difference in the overall taste.
- Elderflower Liqueur: St-Germain liqueur is a popular choice for its sweet and floral flavors, but feel free to try other brands for a slight twist in flavor. St-Elder is another excellent option.
- Lillet Blanc: This is a key ingredient that adds a fruity and bright quality to the drink. Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif wine that has quite a unique flavor.
- Grapefruit Juice: Fresh grapefruit juice is ideal for the best flavor. You can use bottled in a pinch, but it might not give the same bright, fresh flavor.
- Lemon Bitters: A few dashes will enhance the cocktail with a complex flavor and light bitterness. If you can’t find lemon bitters at your local store, you can also try lemon bitters from Amazon or use regular aromatic bitters.
- Optional Garnish: A grapefruit twist or edible flowers can add an elegant touch. They’re not just for show; they also bring a delightful aroma to each sip.
Step 1: Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, and Lillet blanc to a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add the grapefruit juice and a few dashes of lemon bitters.
Step 3: Add ice cubes and shake until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass.
Step 4: Garnish, if desired.
- Glass Choice: A coupe glass, a Nick and Nora glass, or a martini glass are all perfect for this type of cocktail. Their design complements the drink’s elegance.
- Chill Your Glass: Pre-chill your glass for an extra refreshing cocktail. A cold glass keeps the drink cool longer and enhances the drinking experience.
- Double Strain: For a smoother drink, pour the cocktail through a fine mesh strainer into the cocktail glass to remove any small ice shards or pulp. This extra step ensures a smooth and refined texture.
- Prevent Dilution: Don’t start with an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Add your ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker first, then add ice. This method minimizes ice melting and dilution before you even start shaking.
- Experiment with Garnishes: While grapefruit peel is a classic garnish, experimenting with different garnishes like fresh herbs, a slice of grapefruit, or fresh berries can add a unique twist to your French Blonde Cocktail. Since it’s a floral cocktail, I went with edible flowers for a garnish.
- If you want to different floral taste, try replacing the elderflower liqueur with Italicus for a different floral flavor profile. Italicus is known for its delicate citrus and floral aromas, adding a unique twist to the cocktail. I like to use Italicus in spritz cocktails too!
- If you can’t find Lillet blanc, you can try Lillet rosé. Substituting this ingredient is tricky, but sweet white vermouth like the Martini Bianco vermouth would work in a pinch and is generally pretty easy to find. (Side note: Bianco vermouth also makes a great spritz!)
- If you want a little fizz, try adding a splash of champagne or sparkling wine such as prosecco or cava. I recommend a dry or brut style as the drink is already fairly sweet. Sparkling water could be used too, but it may dilute the flavor more than a sparkling wine.
- For a sweeter cocktail, try adding a touch of simple syrup.
- For a more tart cocktail, add a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
What type of gin is best for a French Blonde?
You want something that complements the elderflower and grapefruit flavors without overpowering them. A London dry gin, known for its crisp juniper-forward notes, is a good choice in general. A floral gin like Hendrick’s Flora Adora would also be nice. I used Mermaid Zest gin, which is a grapefruit, bergamot, and rosemary-infused gin – this profile complements a French Blonde perfectly.
What does Lillet Blanc taste like?
Lillet Blanc is a French apéritif wine that offers a delightful blend of sweet, citrus, and herbal flavors. Aperitifs are essentially pre-dinner drinks meant to stimulate the appetite. It has a slightly fruity and floral aroma with a hint of orange, honey, and herbal flavor. Its taste is refreshing, mildly sweet, and perfectly balanced, making it a great addition to cocktails.
How does a French Blonde compare to a French 75?
While each cocktail is a gin cocktail, their taste profiles are quite different. A French 75 is a classic gin-based drink with lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. On the other hand, a French Blonde Cocktail has more of a floral and subtle sweetness, thanks to the floral sweetness of the elderflower liqueur and Lillet Blanc, with a tart edge from the grapefruit juice. The French Blonde is less fizzy and more nuanced in flavor compared to the crisp and tart French 75.
More Cocktail Recipes to Try
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French Blonde Cocktail
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
- 2 ounces Lillet Blanc
- 1 ½ ounces grapefruit juice
- 2-3 dashes lemon bitters
- Edible flowers or a grapefruit twist for garnish (optional)
- Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, Lillet blanc, grapefruit juice, and lemon bitters to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until well chilled.
- Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish if desired.
- Pre-chill your glass for an extra refreshing cocktail.
- For a smoother drink, pour the cocktail through a fine mesh strainer into the cocktail glass to remove any small ice shards or pulp.
- Add your ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker first, then add ice to prevent dilution.
- If you want a little fizz, try adding a splash of champagne or sparkling wine.
- For more sweetness, try adding a touch of simple syrup.
- For more tartness, add a little bit of fresh lemon juice.