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Stirring up trouble in New Orleans …
Eager to shake up her drinks and her life, mixologist Pepper Revelle jumps at an invitation to join the elite Bohemia Bartenders. Leader Neil thinks she’ll be the perfect advance gal for his team at a colorful cocktail convention in her hometown of New Orleans, but the job turns out to be more bananas than a drunk monkey. Setting up the key tasting for their distiller client, she and Neil discover their whiskey has gone dangerously bad. But how? And was this shocking poisoning more than an accident?
As Pepper and Neil try to figure out what happened, keep the drinks flowing and help distiller Dash Reynolds survive the weekend, they find themselves the target of increasingly scary attacks. Maybe it’s the danger, or maybe it’s the drinks, but Pepper also can’t help an inconvenient attraction to cocktail nerd Neil as they stir up trouble and try to figure out who’s out to get them — before they’re sliced and squeezed like a lemon twist in a Sazerac.
Risky Whiskey is the first book in the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries, funny whodunits with a dash of romance set in a convivial collective of cocktail lovers, eccentrics and mixologists. These cozy culinary comedies contain a hint of heat, a splash of cursing and shots of laughter, served over hand-carved ice.
French 75 cocktail embodies fizz and elegance in new mystery Risky Whiskey
by Lucy Lakestone
The French 75 is a wonderfully simple, fizzy, happy drink, and it’s a cocktail my mixologist characters share in Risky Whiskey, the first book in the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries. In fact, one of their minor goals in the novel — besides unraveling a mystery involving tainted whiskey — is to find a moment to visit the French 75 Bar in New Orleans, the city where the story takes place.
But in spite of the French 75 being so simple, there’s a lot of disagreement about how to make it — gin or cognac? More or less champagne?
At the French 75 Bar in New Orleans, bartender Chris Hannah reportedly uses cognac instead of gin. Yet as much as I love the French 75’s French 75, I lean toward gin, which seems cited more often in recipes for this fresh, lovely drink.
You might experiment. Either way, there are worse ways to drink champagne. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are no bad ways to drink champagne.
FRENCH 75 COCKTAIL
1 lemon, for:
• ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
• a lemon twist (a long strip from the peel, twisted and dropped into the drink)
2 ounces London dry gin
¾ ounce simple syrup
Champagne (2 to 4 ounces)
Combine the lemon juice, simple syrup and gin in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a flute glass and top with champagne. Garnish with the lemon twist.
If you want to get fancy, add a couple of drops of orange bitters. For bonus points, chill the glass in advance.
How to make simple syrup: Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan; stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Learn more about Lucy and her books at LucyLakestone.com.
About the Author
Lucy Lakestone is an award-winning author who lives on Florida’s east central coast, among the towns that serve as an inspiration for the hot romances of her Bohemia Beach Series and the jumping-off point for the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries. She’s been a journalist, photographer, editor and video producer but prefers living in her imagination, where the moon is full and the cocktails are divine. Learn more at LucyLakestone.com.
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