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French Blonde

French Blonde

ABV 13% / 1.7 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Gin

A Brief History of a French Blonde

While the exact origins of the French Blonde are somewhat unclear, it is a modern cocktail that seems to have emerged from the craft cocktail movement in the early 21st century. The drink is often appreciated for its use of elderflower liqueur, a component that gained significant popularity in the late 2000s. The French Blonde embodies the innovation of contemporary cocktail culture while paying homage to classic French ingredients and flavours.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The French Blonde offers a complex flavour profile. It typically features the smooth, floral notes of elderflower liqueur, which pairs beautifully with the dry, earthy taste of gin. The addition of Lillet Blanc introduces a crisp, fruity sweetness, while a splash of grapefruit juice adds a refreshing, slightly tart edge. Bitters may also be included to provide a subtle depth, rounding out the cocktail with a balanced bitterness that complements its sweeter and floral components.

 Food Pairings

The French Blonde pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods. Its floral and citrus notes make it a perfect match for light appetizers, such as smoked salmon canapés or goat cheese crostini. It also complements seafood dishes beautifully, especially those prepared with white fish or scallops. For a cheese pairing, consider mild, creamy cheeses that won't overpower the delicate flavors of the cocktail.

Whether enjoyed as a pre-dinner aperitif or sipped leisurely at a brunch, the French Blonde is a cocktail that promises both refreshment and refined flavour, sure to impress with its subtle complexity and stylish presentation.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Coupe glass 
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Fine mesh sieve

Ingredients

  • 45ml Lillet Blanc
  • 20ml London Gin
  • 10ml Elderflower liqueur
  • 45ml Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit
  • 2 Dashes lemon bitters
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Grapefruit twist/Elderflowers

Method

  • Add all the ingredients with ice into the shaker and shake until well cooled
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe glass
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist or elderflowers 

What's the best Gin for a French Blonde cocktail?

For a French Blonde cocktail, it's best to choose a gin that is floral and not too overpoweringly botanical, which will harmonise well with the delicate flavors of elderflower and the crispness of Lillet Blanc. Here are a few gins that work particularly well:

  • Hendrick's Gin: Known for its cucumber and rose petal notes, Hendrick's has a mild and floral character that complements the elderflower liqueur beautifully without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Bombay Sapphire: This gin is aromatic with a slightly spicy yet balanced profile that includes hints of citrus and juniper. It’s versatile enough to blend smoothly with the flavours in a French Blonde.
  • Tanqueray No. Ten: Distinct for its use of fresh citrus fruits in the distillation process, Tanqueray No. Ten offers a bright and crisp flavour that pairs well with the grapefruit juice and floral notes in the cocktail.
  • When making a French Blonde, the key is to ensure that the gin complements rather than competes with the elderflower and Lillet Blanc. Any of these gins would be a great choice, depending on your taste preferences and the specific nuances you enjoy in a cocktail.

     

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