I just went on the MOST AMAZING VACATION!!! My husband and I have four adult children. It is RARE we get to see them all at once, and even more rare that it’s for 11 days. So even if the trip was terrible, it would have been great, but it was regular great too, so that was a bonus!
Vancouver Food & Drink Scene
We began our vacation in Vancouver B. C. at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. After a day of swimming in Howe Sound with actual seals, the kids and I stopped for a drink at the bar of our hotel. I ordered a Lavender 75, which is a French 75, but the simple syrup and bitters are both lavender flavored. The drink was light, citrusy, and somehow celebratory, so it tasted just like being on vacation! How great is that? Plus my kids all sat in the bar with me and told me about their lives. This is a cocktail I will never forget.
Now that I’m home (sad face) I snipped some of the lavender I grow to make a batch of lavender simple syrup, and some lavender bitters, to make a FODMAP version of this really lovely cocktail.
A traditional French 75 is made with both gin and sparkling wine. The gin imparts a slightly herbaceous flavor and scent, while the wine provides tang, bubbles, and volume. Having both in the cocktail would be too high in FODMAPs (unless we suggested incredibly small portions). I replaced the botanical quality of the gin by muddling dried juniper berries into the bottom of the drink. While we do not know the FODMAP content for juniper berries, we are using them for infusing flavor, not actually consuming them – and, they are used to flavor gin and gin is approved.
You do have to make your own Lavender Simple Syrup and Lavender Bitters. You can check out our Simple Syrup recipe for that part. You could skip the bitters; the taste will just be slightly less floral, but still delicious.
To make the bitters, just place a lavender cluster (the end of one flowering stem) in a jar with one tablespoon of vodka and let it sit for 3 to 4 days. I also added some lemon zest for a little more citrus flavor to the infusion. When you make the drink, you will only need 1/4 teaspoon per serving.
This Vancouver 75 is our low FODMAP take on the classic beverage, French 75.
- 6 juniper berries
- 1 ounce (30 ml) lavender simple syrup
- 1 ounce (30 ml) lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lavender bitters, see headnote
- 3 ounces (90 ml) champagne or other sparkling wine
Combine juniper berries, simple syrup, and bitters if you are suing, in a cocktail shaker. Muddles the ingredients until the berries are quite broken up.
Add ice to the shaker and shake until the ice breaks into small pieces. Strain into a champagne glass or coupe.
Pour champagne over the top. Serve!