Brunch Libations: The Sassy 75


Bubbly is practically a brunch requirement, but it can get dull. One of the easiest ways I’ve learned to add variety to my champagne cocktails (or just seltzer water!) is to whip up a simple syrup. This take on a French 75 — which is usually made with gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar — is built on a homemade jalapeño-rosemary-ginger simple syrup (recipe below) that was inspired by one of local DC mixologist Al Thompson’s (@drunkenmixologist) margaritas. The jalapeño and ginger give this sweet brunch cocktail a little unexpected kick — so I named it a Sassy 75.

Ingredients for my Sassy 75: Extra dry champagne, Green Hat gin, a lemon, and japapeño-rosemary-ginger simple syrup.

If you’re going to make this cocktail, be sure to grab a bottle of dry or extra dry brut champagne or Cava. Prosecco is just too sweet for a cocktail that also calls for syrup. I tested this out with Prosecco and couldn’t drink the whole thing because it was way too sweet. But if you like your cocktails on the sweeter side, give it a whirl!

The Sassy 75


Makes one cocktail.

  • 2 oz gin
  • 5 oz extra dry or dry brut champagne
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño-rosemary-ginger simple syrup (or to taste)
  • Lemon slices and jalapeño for garnish (optional)


  1. Juice the lemon using a squeezer or citrus juicer and remove the seeds. You can use bottled lemon juice if you prefer, but fresh lemon juice tastes much better.
  2. Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice through a mesh strainer or sieve, into a cocktail shaker.
  3. Pour the gin and jalapeño-rosemary-ginger simple syrup into the cocktail shaker.
  4. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. I like to dance to music during this step. I’ve been shaking cocktails to this Transatlantic Afro Party mix on Spotify lately.
  5. Taste for sweetness, and more simple syrup, as needed.
  6. Pour the contents into a champagne flute.
  7. Top with champagne.
  8. Add garnish, like lemon and jalapeño slices, if using.

Jalapeño-Rosemary-Ginger Simple Syrup


  • 1 jalapeño, keep or remove the seeds, it’s up to you
  • 1/2 cup rosemary leaves
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, the size of your thumb
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Slice the jalapeño. Remove the seeds if you prefer. Leaving the seeds will add more of a jalapeño flavor.
  2. Peel and grate the ginger.
  3. Bring 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a low boil for about 2 minutes. Stir constantly until the sugar melts.
  4. Add the sliced jalapeño, rosemary leaves, and grated ginger, to the boiling sugar water. Stir. Continue a low boil for 5 more minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to steep and cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Pour the syrup through a strainer to remove the jalapeño, rosemary, and ginger.
  7. Transfer the syrup to a container and let it cool. It will thicken as it cools. The thickness will depend on how long you allowed it to boil. The longer you let it boil, the thicker the syrup will become. You want it to be thin for cocktails, but thick if you plan to drizzle it on cake or ice cream.

The syrup will store in your fridge for a couple of weeks. The interwebs says 2 weeks, but I’ve held onto it for a month or more. If you can’t use the syrup fast enough, split it up into small containers and gift it to friends! Enjoy!

Bringing all the ingredients of this jalapeño-rosemary-ginger simple syrup to a boil.

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