Having freshly parachuted from my wingless biplane seconds before exploding, bullets whiz by my head from a trench nearby. I toss a stick of TNT, push the button on my SteelSeries gaming mouse, and BOOM, a video game enemy flies through the air like a ragdoll. I type “REKT” in the chat, then get hit by a bayonet charge from a screaming British soldier which sends me to the spawn screen, a place to take a sip of my WW1-era cocktail and plot sweet, sweet revenge. This, friends, is how I
procrastinate unwind on an average weeknight.
The game is Battlefield One, a WWI first-person shooter with the ability to hop in tanks, planes, and even blow people up with cannons. One such cannon, the French 75, happens to have a cocktail named after it. Created a hundred years ago in Paris, the drink was said to kick like the formidable WWI cannon. The drink can be made with cognac or gin as the base, although London gin is more common as it gives a nod to British troops stationed in France during the great war.
I asked bar manager Cesar Cerrudo of newly opened El Mercado (and Anepalco’s Cafe) in Santa Ana to make a French 75 on a random Tuesday night. Cesar’s bar program is full of character, with incredibly creative cocktails that are bold, creative, and refreshing ($12 for most), which pairs with the fresh farmers market Mexican fare on the menu.
His rendition, the Codigo Siete Cinco, uses Park Cognac, Los Javis Reposado Mezcal, Xoconostle liquor, Suau orange liquor, lemon juice, and Blanc de Blancs bubbly. Fizzy cocktails are spectacular at carrying aromatics from the glass, and this drink is like a landmine of citrus, cactus fruit, and fermented grape. What drinks like a summertime spritzer has the ability to have you yelling “MEDIC!!”
Make your own hand-cannon French 75! Combine 2 ounces gin or Cognac and a 1 teaspoon sugar over ice and shake. Strain into Champagne flute, top up with 3 ounces Champagne, garnish with lemon peel, and Battlefield One which comes out Oct. 21st.