Ok, let's take a breath. On the one hand, kudos to anyone for having an opinion. On the other hand, opinions can be changed. And the right cocktail - regardless of your spirits preference - can be eye-opening, life-affirming, and opinion-swaying.
In fact, about a month ago, I converted a Gin-hating friend by serving her a Gin Sour made with Barr Hill Gin, a gentle spirit flavored with honey. Purists (who insist, with good reason, that true Gin is juniper-forward) wouldn't call it Gin, but then it ain't Whiskey either.
My point here is that opinions are based on experience, and the way to change them is to provide a better experience.
French 75: Gin's "gateway" drink
Named for the French 75 millimeter field gun used in World War I, the French 75 - as we say in the book - "will hit you like cannon fire." It's strong - sugar and alcohol literally do "go to your head" - but subtly so because of the citrus and bubbles.
If you think this sounds suspiciously like a Gin sour - Gin, sugar, citrus - you'd be right. But nothing makes a spirit go down - and be lifted - like a dose of fizz.
For those of you who already accept Gin as "the" spirit, good on you. For those of you who don't - or for your friends who are misguided naysayers - mix up some French 75s and say "oui, oui" to Gin.
And, if you refuse to embrace the juniper spirit, you are forgiven. Simply sub Cognac or Brandy and you'll have yourself a French 125.
3/4 oz. (22 ml) strained, freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. (45 ml) dry Gin
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1. Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin in a mixing glass.
2. Fill the glass three-quarters full with cubes, cover, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, 15 seconds.
3. Strain into a flute and top with chilled Champagne.