Robert Haynes is a Chicago-based drinks and spirits guru. As a part of the opening team at Chicago’s James Beard award winning cocktail lounge, the Violet Hour, Haynes has consulted on numerous bar programs both in the states and abroad. In 2013, he switched gears to the producer side, helping first to craft Letherbee distillery’s infamous Besk liqueurs and then launching a line of all natural liqueurs under the Apologue brand in 2017.
There are few cocktails better suited for summer than the French 75. Affectionately referred to as “a Tom Collins in a tuxedo” the original French 75 is a brisk and refreshing blend of gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup whose origins can be traced back to Here’s How by Judge Jr. published in 1927.
In the almost 100 years since its creation, it has inspired countless variations and there are many ways to get creative with this one. This month we give this classic cocktail a modern twist, substituting a locally made Aronia Berry liqueur for the simple syrup and serving it ‘long’ over ice.
Fruity, floral, and delightful, the Summer 75 can be topped with Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava and whatever you do, don’t forget the garnish! A great cocktail should engage all of the senses and the fresh lemon zest helps take this one over the top.
Here he shares the recipe of Summer 75.
• 1 oz Gin
• .50 oz Apologue Aronia Berry Liqueur
• .50 oz Lemon Juice
• .50 oz Simple Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake briefly. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon peel.
A superfruit indigenous to the Midwest Native to the Midwest, Aronia (also referred to as a chokeberry) is an indigenous bush berry with a dark-purple color that has been rising in popularity due to its high antioxidant properties. The super fruit is prized for its bright tart taste that plays particularly well in cocktails.