The ultimate classic cocktail is the French 75, a perfect blend of decadence, simplicity and kick.

Cocktails, like food, are very evocative for me, and a French 75 will always bring back fond memories of aperitifs on the terrace at Les Deux Magots (above) in Saint-Germain, Paris. It is the perfect spot to spend a few hours watching the world go by — a favourite pastime for locals and tourists alike.

It’s only gin, citrus (preferably Amalfi lemons) and sweetness (a locally sourced honey, such as Epping Good Honey from Epping Forest in Essex, would be my preference), finished off with Philipponnat champagne. When I really need reviving, I add a splash of Louis Roque La Vieille Prune.

François O’Neill is proprietor of Maison François & Frank’s bar in St James’s, London; maisonfrancois.london

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