Behind the Bar: Botanica Rara


Mixology Month is in full swing here at Gramovox HQ. As part of our celebration, a few members of the team have remixed their favorite cocktails and will be sharing their recipes with you right here on The Reverb throughout the month.

I’m delighted to kick-start the series with Botanica Rara, my twist on the classic French 75.

Invented in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris by barman Harry MacElhone, the French 75 is traditionally made from gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. The sparkling mixture was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun (commonly known as the French 75).

I believe gin to be the quintessential cocktail spirit, and one of my favorites is Monkey 47. Hailing from the Black Forest in Germany, this dry gin is named for the forty-seven handpicked ingredients that make up its complex botanical flavor— crisp juniper, peppery spices, tangy citrus, and sweet floral notes blend harmoniously to create a smooth, ambrosial base for cocktails.

To give Botanica Rara a fresh, slightly sweet taste, I added a splash of Guaraná Antartica soda to the mix. Guaraná is a plant native to the Amazon that is often used to flavor carbonated soft drinks, and its mild berry-like flavor complements the Monkey 47 and lightens the zest of the lemon juice.


1½ oz. gin

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

½ tablespoon simple syrup

½ tablespoon guaraná soda

2 oz. dry sparkling wine

Combine the gin, syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine, then add the guaraná soda. Stir gently and serve.

Makes one drink.

Once you've fixed yourself a glass of Botanica Rara, boost the atmosphere with this remix of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's 1968 hit "Bonnie & Clyde."

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